NORTHERN elders have hailed Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other groups for disowning the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, over his recent alleged inciting statement that the Igbo should descend on properties owned by the Yoruba in Lagos and other South West states. They also vowed to fight for the Igbo, especially considering the unfair manner they have been treated in the Nigerian project.
Kanu’s alleged statement came against the backdrop of the arson and carnage that trailed the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate by some soldiers on October 20. The elders, acting under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, CNEEPD, also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for adopting a civil approach in tackling the youths uprising that resulted in mass looting and burning of private and public infrastructure across the country.
The elders in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said the President’s directive to security forces was the reason that violent protesters were handled professionally, in spite of the quantum of looting and destruction of properties during the ugly development.
In the statement signed by the National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni and National Women Leader, Hajiya Mario Bichi, the Northern elders who vowed to project issues of alleged marginalization of the South East with a view to changing the equation, appealed to all Igbos to support the administration of President Buhari to succeed.
The northern elders said the President’s wisdom in handling the youth uprising was the reason normalcy was returning in a short time, in spite of the violence that trailed the youths’ action.
“We also wish to strongly commend the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South East Peace Practitioners, Igbo Youths Worldwide, Igbo Leagues of Professionals and several other Igbo groups for distancing themselves from the so-called leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu over his inciting comments which was aimed at setting us up against each other during the protests.
“This has endeared the Igbo nation to the North once again. This also has shown their resolve to build one and prosperous Nigeria of our dream where peace and justice shall be the hallmark.
“As elders, we must clearly state that the country has not been fair to Igbo people in all ramifications and we must admit this fact as true Muslims,” the statement said. While charging that,
“The Igbos must believe and work for the unity of Nigeria to enable other parts of Nigerian to speak up for them”, the elders said: “We are so pleased with the speed at which many Igbo groups disowned Nnamdi Kanu and his evil intention.
“This is an indication that Nnamdi Kanu does not represent the Igbo race in anyway and cannot speak for them. “In solidarity, we shall continue to speak for peace, justice and equity for every region of the country, because Nigeria belongs to all of us.
“We therefore, call on our Igbo brothers to support the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to enable him succeed.
“President Buhari is doing a lot in terms of projects in the South East. The facts are there to see except for people who want to deliberately distort facts. “We wish to sincerely thank President Buhari for his wisdom in handling the youths uprising that resulted in killings, looting, stealing, and burning down of both private and public properties in some states of the federation.”