Igbos living in Oyo state have condemned a purported statement credited to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafa (IPOB), Nnamdi Kalu, where he addressed Yorubas as fools.
The Ezendigbo of Ibadanland, Alex Anozie while addressing a press conference on Thursday in Ibadan declared that Igbos living in Oyo state did not believe that the IPOB leader actually made such statement.
He described the said publication as false, and an attempt to create hatred between Igbos living in South-West and their hosts (Yorubas), asking the Federal Government to unmask whoever was behind such destructive statement.
Anozie added that if truly the IPOB leader made such statement, “we Ndigbo residing in all parts of Yorubaland, hereby openly dissociate ourselves with such disappointing statement.”
He noted that Igbos living in Southwest Nigeria had no reason to call the Yorubas fools, because they had been happily and peacefully living with the Yorubas for years.
He then called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency summon a reconciliatory meeting of all ethnic groups in the country, describing the recent withdrawal of the quit notice served on the Igbos living in the north by the Arewa youths as a “very good omen” for the country.
He called on other ethnic groups who have similar threats or notices to quickly withdraw same in the interest of the country.
Anozie suggested that the federal government should avoid the use of force on agitators in order not to allow the whole issue go out of hand, noting that the security reasons the government gave for not arresting the personalities behind the quit notice served on the Igbos should also be considered in an attempt to arrest other personalities who might have erred in similar manner.
Anozie condemned in strong terms all hate speeches from different parts of the country, just as he warned that the consequences of such was always destructive.
“We have listened with every delight, the outcome of the recent meeting of Arewa Consultative Forum and other ethnic groups of Nigeria, whereby the Arewa Forum announced the suspension of withdrawal of their earlier quit notice to Igbos residing in the North. That was a very good omen for our country, Nigeria.
“May we in that same manner, call on other ethnic groups who have issued such most unfortunate quit notices to any other groups in. Nigeria to please withdraw theirs as well.
“We believe that if Nigerians are given better Nigeria, nobody wants to leave Nigeria, Nigeria where justice, security of life and property reigns, Nigeria where there is no marginalization any more, no corruption, no kidnapping any longer, Nigeria where all Nigerians should have sense of belonging.
“The Federal government should take it up from there and summon a reconciliatory meeting of all ethnic groups of Nigeria, including personalities who can positively contribute to the oneness and progressive Nigeria. Those personalities must be detribalized Nigerians, and non political in their contributions.
“We suggest the federal government should not use force on these agitators in order not to allow the whole issue get out of hand. Note should be taken of the authorities statement, that they were being cautious of arresting the personalities involved in the quit notice given to Igbos to leave the North, because of security implications, that may be right.
“But that is how arresting any other ethnic group personalities who may have erred in that same manner goes with same security implications. So the best thye FG shpuld do now is to arrange without delay, a reconciliatory gathering of all these agitating group leaders in Abuja and sit with them.
“We condemn very seriously all the hate speeches from any quarter, because the consequences are always destructive. We seriously believe that one can even more easily achieve or get his argument or agitation sail through without the use of abusive, insulting and foul languages or violence. Let us all join hands together to build a better country where we shall all be proud”.