By Angela Atabo
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has called on Nigerians to support Igbo people against the ugly experience of wrong profiling and threat to their lives and property.
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, made the call at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja against the background of attacks on Igbo and a trending letter asking Igbo people to leave Lagos.
Iwuanyanwu said that long before the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorate by Lord Lugard in 1914, Igbo people had lived in Lagos peacefully and established a good relationship with the Yoruba people.
However, a Lagosian wrote a letter recommending that the Lagos State Government should close down all the markets in Lagos where Igbo traders are in majority.
“This writer wrote very unprintable things about Igbos. The good news to my dear Igbos is that this letter does not reflect the good relationship that existed between Igbos and Yorubas.
“Therefore, as your leader, I am assuring you that there is no cause for alarm; you don’t have any reason to panic, please continue to live in Lagos and other Western States.
“Continue to go about your normal businesses, there is no fear,” he said.
Iwuanyanwu said that Igbo people have been peaceful in Lagos and established businesses and made investments and built houses in Lagos and lived as law abiding citizens.
He added that any property they owned was properly bought from the owners according to the laws of Lagos state and Nigeria.
“I must say that Igbo carried out the same investments to other parts of the country including North, East and West.
“In spite of many setbacks suffered by the Igbos after the civil war, we have risen from the dust of hatred and frustration, to reinvest.
“The ugly signs of hatred for Igbos have started rearing its head in some parts of the country and I, as a leader of Igbo people, most humbly appeal to all Nigerians in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to rise to the support of Igbos.
“Nigerians need to support Igbo people against this ugly experience of wrong profiling and threat to Igbo lives and property.”
Iwuanyanwu said that although Igbos are not all Angels, as there are the good and bad ones just like other tribes however, the law was there to appropriately address the issue of good and bad people.
He said that when President Bola Tinubu was Governor of Lagos State, he was very good to Igbo people and there was no complain or report of any maltreatment of Igbos in Lagos.
“Tinubu is now the president of Nigeria. We did not support him during the presidential election but that did not in any way undermine our trust of his capacity to lead the country.
“Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in his favour, His Excellency President Tinubu can rest assured that Ohanaeze Ndigbo will recognise, respect and be loyal to him as the president of Nigeria.
“What Igbo require is peace, fairness justice and equity. We will demand what is our share, be given to us.
“We believe in one united Nigeria where people of different tribes, creed or ethnicity can move with pride and confidence and get what they rightly deserve without any hindrances.”
Iwuanyanwu called on Igbo people to be law abiding citizens and not build illegal structures or build on wrong places that would be demolished.
He assured the people that they would get compensation if their buildings in development plan was demolished and not other wise.
The President General advised Igbos to ensure that they complied with all legislations and local regulations to avoid demolition of their property in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.
“It has been brought to my notice that many families have been thrown into serious difficulty due to the demolition in Lagos State.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo will establish an Ohanaeze Relief Agency to be controlled by top Igbo Leaders.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo will through this Agency support Igbo citizens in distress; we will also support other Nigerians when the need arises in the spirit of brotherhood,” he pledged. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maureen Atuonwu