Ohanaeze Ndigbo has told Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the pro-Biafra agitators, that it cannot deny Igbo people their voice and taking a stand on issues affecting Nigeria.
Chief Damian Okeke Ogene, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Anambra State chapter, gave the warning in an interview on Tuesday.
Okeke while reacting to the threat issued by IPOB against the Igbo Summit being organised to debate the issue of restructuring of Nigeria on May 21 in Awka, reminded the group that as Igbo culture dictates, Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the father and, therefore, the owner of Igbo land for which reason it is its responsibility to dictate what happens in Igbo land.
He said instead, IPOB is entitled to organise its own summit if it knows what democratic process means rather than threatening those who organise their own summit. He reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s stand in believing in one Nigeria where equity, fairness and justice reigns.
He said that restructuring is not peculiar to Igbo land and Ohanaeze is only trying to accommodate everybody, so it is only those who don’t see anything good would always want to inject religion and ethnicity into it.
In any case he continued, “When you talk about Biafra land this is where Igbo culture comes in. Between father and son who owns the land? It is not disputable that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the father of Igbo nation.
“In Igbo land a threat to one’s father should be considered suicidal. They are our children,” he said. Okeke said he believed there was a communication gap between Ohanaeze Ndigbo and IPOB because any one who loves Nigeria would subscribe to the summit.
He said the summit is for all the country having got indications from other socio-cultural organisations from other parts of the country to attend.
Okeke, however, noted that it is the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo that would make final pronouncement on the summit.
As for the threat, he said security men know what to do.