The Apex social-political organisation in Igbo land, Ohanaeze has condemned the killing and maltreatment of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) by Federal Government agencies.
The group also called for a true fiscal federalism, saying it is the only way to solve Nigeria’s political problems.
Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, the President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nwodo recalled how members of the two agitating groups were killed in Anambra, Asaba, Aba and Port Harcourt, among others, and some of the victims thrown into the river.
According to him, security agencies have refused to release bodies of killed IPOB and MASSOB members to their respective families.
Nwodo wondered why members of IPOB and MASSOB are maltreated by security agencies, unlike members of Boko Haram, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and Avengers, among others.
He said Federal Government’s continuous maltreatment of IPOB and MASSOB members would only end up making Biafra inevitable.
Nwodo was in Port Harcourt to meet with the Igbo living in the state and to pay a courtesy visit to Governor Nyesom Wike. He said anything short of true federalism, where federating units are given a level of independence to develop at their own pace and contribute their quota to the centre would make the political crisis in Nigeria to linger.He lamented the marginalisation of South East and South-South in the areas of political appointments, as well as occupying key positions in the security agencies. According to the President-General, the federal character principle has been grossly violated in favour of a section of the country, noting that the Igbo are also qualified to occupy key and sensitive positions in the country.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo boss insisted that Nigerians should write their own constitution, as against the current one written by the military.Today, under this makeshift federation, people are grumbling. We call for fiscal freedom in Nigeria for things to move forward,Nwodo said.He, however, urged the Igbo to bring back their wealth and invest at home, to give the youths hope and sense of belonging. He also lauded IPOB and MASSOB for going about their agitation peacefully, pointing out that despite the high level of insurgency in the North, no insurgent has been charged of treason or detained.What the Federal Government is doing is unfair, unfriendly and unusual. I, therefore, call on the northern elite to speak up against this unfair treatment meted out against the South. Time has come for the negotiation of the Nigerian federation and there is no going back.Some have declared war on the Nigerian state tearing our national flag to shreds and planting their own while embarking on mass killing of our nationals and they are not arrested or detained. Others from the Niger Delta break pipelines and kill people and are rather called for negotiation and dialogue but for the Biafran agitators, they are killed even when they are holding lawful meetings,he said.
The organisation, whose new Executive was elected on January 10, 2017 and led by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, had earlier visited Lagos and Abuja, two cities that have largest Igbo population outside the seven Igbo dominated states. The states include, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu , Imo and Rivers.