The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the parent body of Igbo people in Nigeria and the diaspora has disowned its youth wing seeking peace with Arewa coalition that issued a quit notice to Igbos living in the north.
The Arewa coalition had issued the notice calling for Igbos to leave the northern region of the country by October 1, an action that has drawn ire from different parts of the country, and has created a lot of tension in the polity.
Following this, the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) over the weekend, met with the northern coalition with a view to charting a common course for peaceful co-existence of the two groups in that region, as well as other parts of the country.
The meeting yielded some positive results as the northern coalition stated that it will immediately review its earlier demands asking the Igbo to quit the north.
However, the parent body of Ohanaeze, has disowned its youth wing, explaining that it’s leadership under Okechukwu Isiguzoro is under suspension, and any action or statement from them (youth wing) is illegal and not binding on the parent body.
National Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu who stated this in a statement on Sunday, said any statement credited to any official of the suspended wing bears no authorisation from Ohanaeze National Executive Committee.
It said: “It’s only the President General and the publicity Unit/any other official authorised or mandated to do so that can speak on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”
Speaking at the meeting, Mazi Isigusoro, who is the National President of the OYC dissociated themselves from secessionist agitations, but denied ever criticizing leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for his stance on Biafra agitation.
He thanked the northern coalition for a fruitful deliberation, adding, “our talks have been very smooth beyond our expectations and we want to appreciate them, knowing fully well that we thought this talks would have ended in fiasco or taken a dangerous dimension but the way they have peacefully handled it shows that they are a peaceful people.
“We commend them for that and also believe that through this dialogue, we believe in the future that there will be no boycott of these talks and if followed peacefully, we will bring an end to some of our problems in this county”.
Also speaking at the event, leader of the Coalition of Northern Youths, Yerima Shettima, revealed that a six-member committee, had been put in place to facilitate another meeting in the South-East.
He however insisted that Kanu should be punished for his action in the agitation for Biafra, even as he justified the decision of the group to petition to the United Nations asking it to intervene in the affairs of the nation.
“Leaving Nnamdi Kanu to go unpunished is totally unacceptable to us because he has so far done much damage on our psyche and our nation.
“So, for us, we think the best we can do is to internationalise this struggle. Behind the background of what we are doing today, most likely in the event of anything falling short of what we agreed, of course we are already in the UN reporting this same character. That does not stop us from discussing to arrive at a particular conclusion where we can have peace in the country.
“On our previous position, we have not officially withdrawn the quit notice given to the Igbo in the North but we said it few days ago that we will review our position and part of that steps is what we are taking now, he stated.
Continuing, he said, “I thank God we are talking with a recognized body of entire youths organisation in the South-East called Ohanaeze Youth Council that is known everywhere. It means that this is a welcome development and we are happy that they have actually sought to get our audience to discuss the way forward out of all these uprisings.
“We are glad to get some words coming out from the leadership of Ohanaeze Youth Council, specifically on the area of seeking to see us to discuss issues. It means they realised that we are very angry and a lot of things have fallen out of place as a result of their shortcoming in the sense that if they had called the young man to order from time past, we wouldn’t have gone to this extreme.
“The second one is the assurance from the president of the council. If I quote him very well, he said: ‘Nnamdi Kanu is just looking for self recognition’, and we became more relaxed and comfortable getting that from him. “
“The third one is him making efforts to bring MASSOB and IPOB together for us to go into a roundtable discussion. I think it is a welcome development.”
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