OKWU Nnabuike, Secretary General of Ohaneze
Youth Wing in this interview, wants the Federal
Government to consider the release of the
detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra,
IPOB, as a matter of urgency. He believes that
doing so would give room for dialogue, even as he
wants the country restructured in accordance with
the recommendations of the Confab.
By Charles Kumolu
As a youth leader of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, what is
your impression about the ongoing protests by the
Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB?
Looking at the protests in the context of the
position of Ndi Igbo in the polity, you will know
that we are marginalised. And it is difficult to beat
someone and ask the person not to cry. Anyone,
who does not feel comfortable about his plight, is
naturally entitled to speak out.
The protests were triggered by Nnamdi Kanu’s
arrest. Agitations by ethnic associations are not
peculiar to IPOB alone. There are various forms of
agitations in Nigeria. We the Ohaneze Youth Wing,
wants the Federal Government to release Nnamdi
Kanu to pave way for dialogue.
Doing so will give us
the opportunity of
talking to the
leadership of the
IPOB. If he is
released, there will be
room for interF@ce
with the group.
listen to pleas by
Nigerians to release
Kanu. The Inspector
General of Police
recently pleaded that
Ohaneze should plead
with the youths to stop the protests. We are also
appealing to the Federal Government to address
the salient issues regarding the marginalisation of
the South East. The restructuring of the country in
line with the report of the Confab, would go a long
way in assuaging the people.
There is an impression out there that the various
leaders of Ndi Igbo, are finding it difficult to speak
with one voice on the matter. What is your
reaction to that?
That is not true. The Ohaneze Youth Wing is
studying the situation. And Ndi Igbo are one of the
most united tribes in this country. We are our
brother’s keepers and thus take everything
affecting the Igbo nation very serious.
Those ascribing such to Ndi Igbo are not being fair,
even if there are areas of disagreements, would
such be said to be peculiar to Ndi Igbo alone? Does
the Yoruba, Hausa’s and other tribes speak with
one voice on every issue? During the last general
election, some Hausa and Yoruba people endorsed
Goodluck Jonathan. Ndi Igbo also did same too,
while others did not endorse him. The cry over
Igbo marginalisation is real.
The detained leader of the IPOB is being accused
for broadcasting hate messages against the state,
but some also feel all he did was to bring to the
fore, the alleged marginalisation of the South –East
geopolitical zone. What is your take on that?
There is freedom of speech in this country and
manners of doing so differ. His criticisms were not
restricted to the Federal Government. He criticised
Ohaneze, the British government and those he
chose to lampoon. I have listened to Radio Biafra
and heard his criticisms based on his beliefs. I am
not a part of IPOB, but I want the federal
government to handle the matter in a manner that
it would not lead to damaging consequences.