Lambasts IPOB, Arewa Youth as not helping matters
By Tasie Theodore
Social media is reacting widely to the call by Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, on the contending ethno-national groups – the Arewa Youth Forum and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) – to sheathe their swords in the interest of the nation, over the former’s order to all Igbos in the north to retire to the south east.
In their reactions, some commentators are hailing the statement as being in the right direction, while several others dismiss it on account of their grouse that the governor does not have the moral standing to intervene in the matter.
The Governor who addressed newsmen in Owerri, amidst reactions and counter reactions associated with the quit order described the separate but equally provocative statements credited to the two groups as nonsensical, ill informed and all motivated, even as he urged all well meaning Igbos to disassociate themselves from these provocative statements.
“Igbos calling on their sons, daughters, and relations resident in the North to come back and those fanning the embers of war should stop this because this is deceitful and ill motivated”.
He reminded those beating the drum of war that Ndigbo are the greatest stakeholders in the country with heavy presence and investment in all nooks and crannies of the country and who would therefore be the worst victim of any outbreak of violence in the country.
“Those calling for war and who are unpatriotically preaching the gospel of violence are those who did not witness the three year civil war in the country, stressing that calls to return to home states and sit at home order are inciting which could create disaffection between the East and the North that have traditionally enjoined mutual wonderful political relations.
“You cannot be calling for a sovereign nation within a nation and I would rather wish to see an association christened “Movement for the Economic survival of Ndigbo”.
The governor, who just came back from a foreign trip regretted that while other nations of the world are immersed in strategies to advance their growth and development, Nigerians are preoccupied with divisive and retrogressive tendencies capable of taking the nation several years backward, saying “my heart bleeds and we should make a re-think.
On the sit at home order to all Igbos in the South East by the IPOB, the governor dismissed as grossly misleading widespread insinuations that the order was totally complied with by the people, of the south east arguing that some Igbos merely used it as an extension of the 2017 democracy day celebration and that it was never obeyed as a mark of solidarity to IPOB.
“Ndigbo have no history of violence but are peace -living people who have written their names in gold in the development and transformation of this country”.
While calling for continued peace, unity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians irrespective of their tribal or religious inclination, the governor advised Igbo to remain wherever they are and to go about their normal business without fear of molestation.