Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has warned the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi, to stop sowing seeds of discord and hatred against the Igbo.
The organisation in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, was in a reaction to a comment by the traditional ruler that the Igbo could not be entrusted with the office of the Nigerian presidency.
In the said statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Alli Ibraheem, the traditional ruler was quoted to say that “the style by the South-easterners is barbaric; no Nigerian will feel secure in the hands of a leader whose ethnic attachment deprived other Nigerians of their rights.”
Reacting, Ohanaeze advised the monarch to subject himself to some tutelage under more experienced cosmopolitan, intelligent monarchs like the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi on how to be a traditional ruler.
It said, “One of the qualities of a well-adjusted traditional ruler is to be open minded towards all, especially people of other ethnic groups that may be found in his domain.
“One of the reasons the traditional rulers are insulated from partisan politics is to avoid an overdrive or the kind of overzealousness exhibited by Oba Akanbi in an effort to retire a gift from his candidate for the presidency in 2023.
“In promoting his preferred candidate, he has committed a fallacy of hasty generalisation when he stated that ‘the style by south easterners is barbaric’; the Igbo cannot be trusted with power, etc.”
He added, “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Prof George Obiozor is a civilised cultural organisation and by its prospectus, Ohanaeze has profound respect for culture and traditional rulers. We will therefore restrain from hoisting the monarch with his own petard, rather we advise that he should undergo some tutelage under some more experienced cosmopolitan urbane intelligent monarchs.
“It is self-evident that Nigeria is a beleaguered country that urgently needs nation building; inflammatory and incendiary remarks from monarchs and the highly placed are antithetical to peace and unity of Nigeria.
“One of the qualities of a well-adjusted traditional ruler is to be open minded towards all, especially people of other ethnic groups that may be found in his domain.”
Ohanaeze reiterated the adventurous and nation building spirit of the Igbo and noted that any claims of the Igbo being anti-Nigeria is mischievous.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Igbo are adventurous nation builders; they are found in all parts of Nigeria and beyond. They make friends easily and also feel at home with their children in all parts of world. Records across the world indicate that the Igbo are branded in Midas touch.
“They quickly learn the language and culture of the host community with a view to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of the community.
“The people of other ethnic groups that had their National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Igbo land can always attest to the Igbo friendliness and hospitality during their service years; some ended up marrying Igbo.
“The wild claims that the Igbo prevent people from the other parts of the country from acquiring properties in their domain or have an obnoxious policy of depriving other Nigerians of their rights cannot be substantiated.
“On the other hand, it is inconceivable that a group that builds modern houses in all parts of the country will prevent other ethnics from building in their homestead. One would think that the morbid fabrication of falsehood is a terrible mischief, only for the uninitiated.”
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