A foremost southeast think-tank group, Oganiru Leadership Network, has advised the federal government to desist from slaughtering members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, but instead engage them in dialogue.
The Network made this known via a press statement by its national president, Mazi Nnamdi Iroegbu on Monday.
Mazi Iroegbu also called on the government to reverse the proscription of the pro Biafra group, among other issues.
Find below full text of the statement:
The Oganiru Leadership Network is a think-tank network and sociopolitical group advocating for the interest of the Southeast geopolitical zone and the Igbo nation.
As an organisation, we are not unaware of the various development that affects the Igbo, and we therefore wish to make known our positions;
- Although the Oganiru Leadership Network, being an affiliate of Southeast 2023 Presidency, believes that Nigeria State can be salvaged if the fundamental issues that gave rise to the agitation for an independent Biafra State by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB are addressed.
- We hold the view that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB is a peaceful organisation seeking for Justice, Equity & Fairness. They are not a terrorist organization that seeks for the oppression of citizens of Nigeria and destruction of the Republic. Therefore, we frown at the classification of IPOB as a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government of Nigeria; and we demand its de-proscription, and adopt dialogue mechanism to conflict resolutions.
- We condemn the crackdown and extra judicial killing of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra by security operatives in Emene, Enugu state, on Sunday, August 23, 2020. We demand that the federal government engage in productive dialogue with leaders of IPOB and other stakeholders of the Igbo ethnic group to address some of the fundamental issues raised in their agitations. The era where government would employ the barrel of the gun to force people into submission is long gone, and should be stopped forthwith.
- We are in receipt of the apology tendered by the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, through its national president, Mallam Yerima Shetima, on the ill-informed quit notice that the group issued to citizens of Nigeria of Igbo extraction in 2017 to vacate the northern Nigeria. Although we congratulate Mallam Shetima and the entire members of the Arewa group for finally towing the path of reasoning through their public apology, we however REJECT the rhetorical apology.
- The apology of AYCF shall only be accepted on condition that the group joins the noble agitation for the Southeast geopolitical zone, being the only zone in Southern Nigeria that is yet to produce the President of Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999, to produce the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari when his tenure elapses in 2023.
- While we are aware that the Igbo ethnic nationals are peaceful group of people that believe in peaceful coexistence with other ethnic nationalities, and also believe in healthy competition for a better society, we also recognize that the Igbo ethnic group has been the poster child for ill-treatment and oppression by the Nigerian State.
- We believe that the year 2023 will be a year that will afford the Nigerian State the rare opportunity to right all her wrongs. This can only be achieved when other geopolitical zones embrace the noble demand for the next President of Nigeria that would emerge in the year 2023 to be from the Southeast extraction.
We Believe Nigeria Will Flourish Again In Our Time.
Mazi Nnamdi Iroegbu, DGN
for Oganiru Leadership Network