BY ADELEKE ADESANYA
PRESIDENT General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo, has lambasted the leader of the Northern Elders Forum, Ango Abdullahi, for describing Igbo citizens as violent people.
Nwodo said that the unprovoked outburst by Abdullahi was capable of setting the country ablaze.
He said this just as he called on the Federal Government to call NEF to order and make them rescind their inflammatory statement to avoid “the possible mayhem and confusion it could cause in the country.”
The President General in a release by his Media Adviser, Emeka Attamah, wondered where and when the Igbo could have killed their northern brothers when there had never been any case of mayhem and killings against the north in any Igbo-speaking state.
He challenged Abdullahi to make public facts to substantiate what he described as his wild and malicious claim, unless it was intended to set up the Igbo for another round of killings in the north, adding that with the statement, the Igbo in the north were not safe.
The President General claimed that on the contrary, the Igbo had borne the brunt and had been victims of age-long and misguided attacks and bloody orgies by their northern “brothers” at the slightest upheavals in the country, sometimes even as a result of an event outside the country, and no restitution had ever been made for such losses.
Nwodo regretted that the Igbo, apart from innumerable dead ones, had lost property valued at trillions of naira during such senseless attacks in the north, yet they were the catalysts of development and the unifying cord that holds Nigeria together.
The President General told the Northern Elders Forum to exhibit greater caution and wisdom in addressing sensitive national issues like this, rather than stoke further the fire of ethnic violence “by making such unguarded, unsubstantiated, garrulous and vitriolic claims capable of igniting fire and breakdown of law and order that could consume the country.”
He reminded them that knowing that Nigeria was now a tinderbox, especially with the heightened frayed nerves arising from the unfortunate mismanagement of the fabric of the nation, caution should be the watchword.
Nwodo further said that at the twilight of his life, the NEF leader should espouse salutary views that should bind and heal the wounds of the country so that he would leave behind a better and united Nigeria.