The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, has described as divisive a statement credited to the Chairman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council of Elders, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, about the people of Nigeria’s South-West.
Iwuanyanwu, who spoke at a town hall meeting held in Awka on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo’s administration in the state, reportedly described the people of Yoruba land as “political rascals.”
The elder statesman’s remark generated angry reactions in the South-West.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has since defended the businessman and blamed peddlers of fake news for the crisis generated by the comment.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday by its National Organising Secretary, Kole Omololu, , Afenifere warned against incendiary comments by Igbos.
The group appealed to Nigerians and particularly Yorubas to eschew violence and embrace people across races, cultures, and backgrounds.
The statement read: “We have since reviewed the video recording of the event and our leadership will be reaching out to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to seek clarification on why Chief Iwuanyanwu made the comment and whether his view is a reflection of what Ohanaeze Ndigbo indeed think of the Yorubas.
“We hereby call on Ohaneze to warn the Chief not to insult the Yoruba. We are a proud nation. We are a hospitable race. All these should not be interpreted to mean weakness. In fact, it is a sign of being civilized. Enough of the provocation.
“We appealed to Yoruba and indeed all Nigerians, to remain calm and continue to show love to their Igbo compatriots and members of other ethnic nationalities.
“We urge all Yorubas to continue to relate well with all other ethnic groups in Nigeria and abroad. Our common humanity is more important than the divisive antics or careless remarks of any individual or group.
“The Yorubas are known worldwide as promoters of peace, unity, and orderliness. We should hold on strongly to those virtues in the interest of peace, progress, and prosperity in Nigeria and the world”.
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