As reaction to the recent massacre of Igbo indigents by unknown gunmen in Ebonyi State a Southeast State of Nigeria, Ohanaeze Ndigbo a socio-cultural organization of the Igbo people has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria to take steps to stop the carnage less the Igbo people will be left with no objection than to resort to self-defense.
In a Press Statement signed by Chief E. C.Iwuanyanwu, the organization made it stands known in this tone:
MASSACRE OF EBONYI CITIZENS IN THEIR HOMES
On Monday 29th March, a very sad and chilling news was released in both print and electronic Media of how IGBO land was invaded by strange terrorists from outside Igbo Land. This incident is very painful. During this invasion by so called Herdsmen, lives and property were destroyed. Uptill now the exact number of lives lost is not known but eye-witness report said that over 20 lives were lost. Hundreds of people in Ebonyi State, a Sovereign part of Igbo Land are now homeless.
In Igbo culture of “Onye-aghala-nwanne-ya”, I want to make it clear to all and sundry that any attack on any Igbo soil is an attack on the entire Igbo Land. Igbos will never fold their hands and watch people invade them. I am constrained to sound this warning as the Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council of Elders that we will no longer accept a situation where our people are invaded by terrorists. We will take every step to defend the lives and property of our people. We had earlier expressed our sympathy to our compatriots in other States in Nigeria such as Borno, Kaduna, Yobe, Sokoto, Taraba, Benue and Plateau where people have suffered similar invasion in the past.
We have passed through this journey and violence of war and we know it is a very painful and lonely journey. That is the reason all Elders of Igbo Land are passionate about peace and unity in one Nigeria restructured under a new constitution that can protect every part of the country and creat incentive for every part to develop their God’s given potentials to the benefits of their people and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Elders of Igbo Land directed that the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Prof. George Obiozor and the Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum His Excellency Engr. Dave Umahi should call an immediate meeting of Stakeholders including the National Assembly. This meeting will deliberate on ways and means to protect Igbo people wherever they live. The meeting will also establish an emergency relief fund from where help can be given to people exposed to attack of terrorism anywhere in Igbo Land. We wish to say with pride that all through the history of Nigeria, Igbos are known to live in many places outside Igbo Land and they have never launched any attack against the lives and property of the people of that area.
We will therefore not accept a situation where people will come and invade and kill our people. We expect the Federal Government to take steps to stop these terrorists from attacking our land otherwise Igbos will have no option but to device means of self defense.
CHIEF DR. E. C. IWUANYANWU, CFR, OFR, MFR, FNICE, FNIST, FNSE, KSC
CHAIRMAN COUNCIL OF ELDERS OHANAEZE NDIGBO