The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has described Ndigbo as a people that are receptive and hospitable and wondered why any sensible Igbo group should issue quit notice to non-Igbos to vacate any part of Igboland.
National Publicity Secretary, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonna who disclosed this in a statement, Thursday, however, said Ndigbo hospitality should not be taken for granted saying that people living in Igboland should engage in a lawful and legitimate business.
Speaking on the backdrop of the herdsmen menace, Ogbonna pointed out that herdsmen must not
“destroy, desecrate or violate the laws and cultures of any part of Nigeria they live in and certainly not forceful entry into another’s farmland with impunity and disregard of the peoples’ customs and traditions over land. Freedom does not mean anarchy or lawlessness.”
“The attention of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the news making rounds that an ethnic or regional group has been ordered to quit any part of Igbo Land.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo views such statements as reprehensible and highly unacceptable. We are aware of the various interest groups with weird claims on the leadership of Ndigbo. However, Ndigbo recognizes the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Ambassador (Prof) George Obiozor as the apex authority on such matters of national importance.
“It is therefore very instructive that the general public is hereby emphatically advised to always verify the sources of information regarding the position of Ndigbo on where they stand on sensitive national issues.
“The Igbo are very outreaching, hospitable and hardworking. They adapt themselves to legitimate businesses in all parts of Nigeria and the world. Igbos are known to promote cordial relationships all over the world. It is therefore highly inconceivable for a sensible Igbo group to issue quit notice to non-Igbos who are engaged in lawful means of livelihood in Igboland.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo advises non-Igbos in general and the herders in particular not to take undue advantage of the Igbo character of hospitality and friendly acceptance of non-Igbos in Igboland by engaging in actions, behaviours or attitudes inimical to the culture and wellbeing of Ndigbo. It must be categorically stated and understood that freedom of movement guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria for all citizens does not include and will never include the right to destroy, desecrate or violate the laws and cultures of any part of Nigeria you live in and certainly not forceful entry into another’s farmland with impunity, and disregard of the peoples’ customs and traditions over land. Freedom does not mean anarchy or lawlessness. Therefore, it is in the interest of peace and mutual coexistence that the sensibilities of the host communities are respected.
“May we also here, call on the relevant Federal authorities to come up with actions, policies and strategies that will stop all the objectionable acts of destruction of farmlands, violation of community and cultural sanctity over land, customs, kidnappings that generate conflict between the host communities and the herders,” the statement implores.
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