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Forget Biafra, Ohanaeze tells Ndigbo as IPOB reveals restructuring it’ll accept



Forget Biafra, Ohanaeze tells Ndigbo as IPOB reveals restructuring it’ll accept

Those agitating for the Igbos to separate from Nigeria to form Biafra as their country have been asked by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to drop the idea because it cannot be achieved.

The Ohanaeze, which insisted in its demand for the restructuring of the country, urged the secessionist groups in the region to embrace the call for a restructured Nigeria, assuring them that their demands would be addressed when a federal system anchored on justice, equity, rule of law and equal opportunity is achieved.

Deputy national president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a former deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Professor Chigozie Ogbu, made this call in a speech he delivered in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital during a town hall meeting.

He said, “Some of our sons and daughters who have gotten sober with Nigeria and decided that they don’t want to belong to Nigeria any more, maintained that Igbos have no reason to belong to Nigeria, formed these secessionist groups.

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“But we have looked at that very carefully, and found that achieving an independent Biafran State is ‘non starter,’ given processes involved unless through war. The only thing that may take you even there is war and nobody here who witnessed the civil war will ever wish war for Ndigbo anymore.

“So, we dialogued with them, we talked with them and said to them let’s start with restructuring, let’s get it right this time, may be with time we can have plebiscite to determine whether we can have Biafra or not.

“So, people should understand that Biafra is not feasible at this time if you analyse all the processes involved. They are talking about referendum; referendum is not contained in the 1999 Nigeria constitution.

“Let those who interact with them tell them that Igbos should not short change themselves; we are trying to see how we can right some wrongs done to Igbos and I think we will achieve that if we work together.

The town hall meeting was convened to articulate the position of the people on restructuring, ahead of the Igbo Summit holding in Awka, Anambra on May 21.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has said that it was not opposed to restructuring of the country.

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It however said that the restructuring it will accept will be if there is a referendum and the “majority of the people vote to adopt restructuring as the preferred option to outright break from Nigeria

The group stated this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, which read in part, “We, the global family of the IPOB, feel the need to clarify why we are opposed to this particular Ohanaeze Ndigbo jamboree slated for May 21, 2018 at Awka.

“Anybody or group that attends this event will be seen as an enemy of the people and a direct supporter of Operation Python Dance 2 which was instigated by the organizers of the said Ohanaeze Ndigbo summit to eliminate Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his family, thereby leaving our land open for perpetual dominance of invaders.

“IPOB is not against those that hold the legitimate view that restructuring will best address the myriad of problems afflicting the masses. We are firm believers in democracy, plurality of opinion and divergence of views, so if during a referendum a majority of the people vote to adopt restructuring as the preferred option to outright break from Nigeria, we would be bound by it.”


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