Calls for arrest of Ekpa, Asari Dokubo
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr Okey Emuchay, has said that both the enforcers and observer of sit-at-home in the South-East, are the real foes of Ndigbo.
Emuchay who declared this while addressing select journalists in his Azumini country home in Ukwa East Local Government Area of Abia State, decried the crippling effects of the impacts of the “counter productive sit-at-home.”
He appealed to those behind the incessant sit-at-home orders including the enforcers and observers to have a rethink for the sake of Ndigbo.
Dr Emuchay recalled that even the detained Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, had also called for a stop of the approach which is rather destroying Igboland.
“Two years ago Nnamdi Kanu asked that the issue of sit-at-home be stopped. So, the people who now sit-at-home, and those enforcing it are the enemies of Ndigbo.
“Our people are suffering because 99% of them are traders and depend on their private business. If you force them to close their shops, of what benefit is that?”
He scolded Mazi Simon Ekpa, the self acclaimed Biafra Prime Minister, for escalating the incessant sit-at-home in South-East, and asked him to stop destroying Igboland in the name of Biafra agitation.
Dr Emuchay who alleged that “armed groups both from within and outside the shores of Nigeria are waging war against South-East and Igbo nation in general,” also demanded the arrest of a Finland-based Biafra agitator, Mazi Simon Ekpa, for allegedly inciting violence in the region.
“Time has come from the Federal Government to take immediate steps to send emissaries to Finland and call Simon Ekpa to order. Ohanaeze does not have diplomatic relations with the Government of Finland. It’s the Federal Government that has all it takes to do that.
“You cannot have somebody who stays in Finland and be waging war against his people in Nigeria. It’s not acceptable. Nigeria Government must take action to stop this!
“Simone Ekpa is doing his private business; it has nothing to do with the release of Nnamdi Kanu. The world should note that people who have no pedigree; who lack autonomous identify; who have no idea whatsoever the sufferings Igbo people have passed through, and are passing through; who have now with their sponsors converted issues that concern the Igbo nation into a cottage industry. It’s now a money minting machine for them.
“At no time was there a meeting where the Igbo nation decided to assign Simon Ekpa with any duties that concern them or Nnamdi Kanu.
“Time has come for us to say enough is enough to all these. The pains of three years of civil war; the efforts of our recovery are being slowly and systematically shredded.
“A people who suffered three years of hardship during the civil war, have in the last two years been subjected to unnecessary sit-at-home that has crippled the economy of the South-East.”
The Ohanaeze General Secretary further noted that when a delegation of Igbo leaders met with Kanu at the Abuja headquarters of the Department of State Services, DSS, where he is currently detained, the IPOB Leader never mentioned Ekpa all through the three hours they interacted with him.
“A year ago, I was detailed by the President General of Ohanaeze to be part of the Ohanaeze delegation that met with Nnamdi Kanu at the DSS office in Abuja. We covered every issue that was of concern to him, Igbo nation and Nigeria. During our interaction with Kanu that lasted for three hours, he never mentioned Simon Ekpa.”
Dr Emuchay said that Ohanaeze had been leading the efforts to release Kanu, and expressed optimism that such efforts would soon yield fruit.
He recalled the recent meeting of Igbo Leaders in Abuja including all National Assembly members from South-East, Igbo Governors, critical stakeholders and Ohanaeze chieftains, was part of efforts to galvanise support for the quest.
“We are very optimistic that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will give attention to this.
“We have always said: Release Nnamdi Kanu to us, and then we will be able to isolate the criminals who are parroting IPOB and other things.
“Release Nnamdi Kanu to us; he is our son, and then we will get into whatever thing to that needs to be discussed. “
Ohanaeze expressed dissatisfaction that Kanu had remained incarcerated despite court judgments ordering his release while real criminals and bandits are still parading around with AK-47 unmolested.
“Nnamdi Kanu is detained yet we have people brandishing AK-47. They are circulating their viral video of how to deal with Ndigbo, yet nothing has happened to them. We are also Nigerians. We have stakes in this country.”
The apex Igbo body condemned the use of brute force against genuine agitators, arguing that dialogue remains the panacea to the unwavering agitation among youths in parts of the country.
“The late PG of Ohanaeze, Professor George Obiozor warned Nigeria about what is happening now. He said that there would be a synchronised violence that may consume this nation. He said that the people that are denied justice have no time for peace.”
Dr Emuchay who noted that the ranks of genuine IPOB agitators had been infiltrated by criminal elements, said that Ohanaeze would never condone criminality.
“We know that it’s not every person that talks about IPOB that is IPOB. Criminals are now using the name to ravage the entire Igboland.
“Ohanaeze will never accept criminality. The country home of our late PG, Professor Obiozor was completely razed. All his credentials gone! Chief Nnia Nwodo’s house was attacked. Till today there was no arrests. So, all criminals, wherever they are should be located, arrested, investigated and prosecuted.”
Emuchay raised alarm that the ex-Niger militants’ leader, Asari Dokubo “is training an army close to Igboland.”
He therefore, called for his immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution.
Emuchay expressed sadness over the festering insecurity in South-East and urged the Federal Government to stop sitting on the fence but take urgent steps to bring to book, all those behind the disturbing security challenges in Igboland.
“There is a trending video of armed groups led by Asari Dokubo. The Federal Government should properly investigate the activities of Asari Dokubo. He is training an army, and we don’t know for what purpose.
“But from the video we have seen, the location where they are, appears to be very close to Igbo nation.”
The Ohanaeze Scribe said it was unacceptable for the Federal Government to and the security agencies pretend as if they were not aware of the open threat against the entire Igbo nation by Dokubo.
Mourns Father Dermot Doran
Speaking on the death of Irish priest, Rev. Father Dermot Doran who was the missionary that assisted in the airlifting of kwashiorkored Biafran kids to Gabon, Ivory Coast and other countries during the civil war, Emuchay said Ohanaeze had set machinery in motion to immortalise him.
Father Doran who was the pioneer Principal and priest of St. Mary Secondary School Azumini, and the Catholic church in the community, died at the age of 88 years.
The Ohanaeze Secretary said that the late Father Doran would forever be celebrated by the Igbo nation for his role in saving the lives of malnourished Biafra children during the civil war.
“Rev. Father Doran arrived Azumini in 1963. Beyond being the pioneer Principal and Priest in the Catholic school and church in this community, he was also involved in saving the lives of malnourished Biafra children during the civil war.
“He was involved in airlifting them through the Uli airport in Anambra State to other countries where they were harboured.
“We received the news of his death with sadness. We mourn him, and the Igbo nation both at home and in Diaspora will honour him for the role he played during the unfortunate civil war that enveloped our country between 1967 and 1970.
“We will continue to locate and identify with people like Father Doran for his sacrificial life and service to humanity.