Secession not in Igbo’s interest, Ohanaeze tells MASSOB
The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio- cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has told the leadership of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra that seceding from Nigeria, as being agitated by the group, would not be in the interest of the Igbo.
The National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro stated this on Saturday during a press conference in Umuahia, Abia State, to unveil plans for this year’s Igbo Youths Day slated for Monday in Umuahia.
According to him, it is better for Ndigbo to remain in Nigeria and struggle for their fair share of the ‘national cake’ than fight for self-determination with its attendant consequences.
He said, “ It is better we remain in Nigeria and fight for our rights than secede. We have been patient enough and in 2019, it will be our turn to produce a Nigerian President. It will take a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction to heal the wounds of Biafra.”
He called on the Federal Government to unconditionally release all members of MASSOB and other Biafran activists detained in various prisons across the country.
Isiguzoro also appealed to the Federal Government to address what he described as injustices against Ndigbo in the country, which he said were the major reason for the agitation for self-rule by MASSOB and other pro- Biafran groups.
He further argued that it defied logic for members of MASSOB who are non-violent to continue to be held illegally for years in detention, ‘‘while the same government is busy releasing captured members of violent groups like Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants who have taken up arms against the state.”
“Since the Federal Government is secretly negotiating with Boko Haram terrorists, why can’t it also negotiate with MASSOB, which is non-violent? Since it is releasing some Boko Haram fighters, it should also consider MASSOB members detained illegally in prisons.”
The OYC helmsman however declared support for the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, arguing that those responsible for the woes of Nigeria should be brought to book.
He also said the Igbo Youths Day would be used to sensitise Igbo governors on the urgent need to invest in agriculture for youth empowerment.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the organising committee and National Vice-Treasurer of OYC, Dr. Lawrence Dozie, said the theme of this year’s celebration is “Ndigbo: The Challenges of our Youths.”