Chairman of the Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has sent a strong warning to some people he referred to as political rascals in Lagos that Igbos will no longer tolerate being killed for no just cause in the state.
He however stressed that the Igbos and Yorubas have no problem pointing out that the people causing tension in the state among Igbos are political rascals.
Iwuanyanwu gave the warning while giving a brief speech at the one-year anniversary of Governor Charles Soludo as governor of Anambra State.
The event which was transmitted live on Channels Television on Saturday was monitored by Church Times.
Iwanyanwu also paid glowing tribute to former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was at the event.
On the Lagos crisis, he said, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo people met recently in Lagos and resolved that the intimidation that the Igbos suffered recently will no longer be tolerated.
He said I want to let our people in Lagos know that on Wednesday,( March 22) I called a meeting of Ohana Eze Ndigbo worldwide as regards events in Lagos. I want to tell you that we have resolved never again shall we allow anybody to take the life of any innocent Igbo person.
“All of us are going to fight the person. We are Nigerians and we have invested in Nigeria. Our investments are so much. We are not going to take the threat of telling us to go. We are not going anywhere.”
He said, however, “ I want to say there is no war between us and the Yorubas. These are just political rascals causing the problem between us and we are going to handle them.”
The Igbo chief said the elders of Ohana Eze Ndigbo have directed that a commission of inquiry look into the last crisis in Lagos when Igbos were reportedly molested insisting that those found culpable will pay for damages.
Read also: I will be too glad to see an Igbo presidency- Bakare:https://churchtimesnigeria.net/bakare-president-childhood-igbo/
Obasanjo, a great leader
Iwuanyanwu described Obasanjo as one of the greatest leaders Nigeria ever produced adding that he had scored many firsts in his life.
“He was the first military man to hand over power to a civilian government. And he did not hand it over to his tribesman. He showed love to every part of this country. When the story of Nigeria is told, the tenure of Obasanjo as president will be regarded as the golden era.”
He recalled that his first encounter with Obasanjo was in 1970 when the Biafra/Nigeria war ended. “Obasanjo was the person who actually made the war end peacefully. God has destined him to be great. Without Obasanjo and Gowon, it would have been a different story because Biafra was not ready to surrender. The war could have continued. We were not ready to surrender even if they were bringing the whole weapon from all over the country.”
On governor Charles Soludo, Iwuanyanwu said, “I want to tell you your excellency, your position on nation issue we appreciate it. We in the Ohanaeze appreciate. I am speaking as the chairman of the council of elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. We appreciate you, support you, and are very proud of you.”
In his speech at the event, Soludo itemised some of the major achievements of his government in the last year. He said for instance that the state recruited about 5000 teachers in the last year adding that the only criterium used for recruiting them was their academic qualification. He also talked on how the state has been able to reduce the cost of governance
He said, “none of the teachers were recruited on the basis of their tribe. It is the first time in Anambra we are having teachers from Kogi, Ekiti, and other parts of the country.”
The event attracted top politicians and captains of industry. The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi was given a rousing welcome when he stepped into the hall of the event. He came in when Soludo was giving his speech, but for about one minute the audience kept cheering him.
In Anambra, politics is not war. We might fight. But we don’t fight physically. Our people might have court cases in their pockets. When that is all over, we come together.