PRESIDENT general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has warned Prof. Ango Abdullahi, leader of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, to refrain from making reckless and inflammatory comments capable of causing confusion and mayhem in the country.
Nwodo told NEF to exhibit greater caution and wisdom in addressing sensitive national issues rather than stoke further the fire of ethnic violence by making such unguarded, unsubstantiated, garrulous, and vitriolic claims capable of igniting fire and breakdown of law and order that could consume the country.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Emeka Attamah, Nwodo alleged that Abdullahi said most violent acts against the northerners are perpetrated by the Igbo.
Nwodo said that the unprovoked outburst by Abdullahi was capable of setting the country ablaze.
He wondered where and when the Igbo could have killed their northern brothers when there has never been any case of mayhem and killings against the north in any Igbo-speaking state.
“I challenge Prof Abdullahi to make public facts to substantiate his wild and malicious claim unless it was intended to set up the Igbo for another round of killings in the north. The Igbo in the north is not safe.
“On the contrary, the Igbo have borne the brunt and have been victims of age-long and misguided attacks and bloody orgies by their northern ‘brothers’ at the slightest upheavals in the country, sometimes even as a result of an event outside the country, and no restitution has ever been made for such losses.
“The Igbo, apart from innumerable dead ones, have lost property valued at trillions of naira during such senseless attacks in the north, yet they are the catalysts of development and the unifying cord that holds Nigeria together,” Nwodo said.
He reminded them that knowing that Nigeria is now a tinderbox, especially with the heightened frayed nerves arising from the unfortunate mismanagement of the fabric of the nation, caution should be the watchword.
Nwodo further reminded Abdullahi that at the twilight of his life, he should espouse salutary views that should bind and heal the wounds of the country so that he will leave behind a better and united Nigeria.
He, however, called on the federal government to call NEF to order and make them rescind their inflammatory statement to avoid the possible mayhem and confusion it could cause in the country.
It would be recalled that Abdullahi alleged that outside the northern part of the country, most violent acts against northerners are perpetrated by Igbo.
Abdullahi made the allegation on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State where NEF kicked started a tour of northern communities across other parts of the country following the #EndSARS protests.
“We came because we saw no reason innocent residents, wherever they are, irrespective of where they come from, who are not participating in the protest will be subjected to violence.
“They suffered enormous violence and loss of lives and assets of various magnitudes. What was surprising to us was that those that perpetrated the violence against northerners are the same people who are crying more and calling for compensation.
“We take particular delight when we talked with the governor of the state. We were told by residents of Rivers that the governor was particularly interested in protecting them and their rights as he swore in his oath of office.
“It is now becoming clear that most of the violence that is being meted out to the northerners in various parts of the South came from people from the south-eastern states. People with some names,” Abdullahi said.
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