Ohanaeze, IPOB meet, chart way forward for South East

As secessionist group seeks support for de-proscription
Disagreements between apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) may have eased, as leaders of the groups met in Enugu yesterday to chart the way forward for the South East region.

The Guardian learnt that the meeting was aimed at consolidating the peace accord recently reached between IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who confirmed the parley, said IPOB leaders appealed to Ohanaeze elders to assist in working towards its de-proscription.

He stated that IPOB’s delegation led by Mazi Benjamin Madubugwu, told the monthly national executive meeting of Ohanaeze that their attendance was in continuation of the rapport reached at the reconciliation meeting in Anambra State.

“Madubugwu said an Igbo proverb says no matter how much a warrior is derided, he is always sought after when there is outbreak of war,” Nwodo said.

Nwodo, who spoke through his Media Aide, Emeka Attamah, stated that IPOB leaders reaffirmed him (Nwodo) as an undisputed leader of Ndigbo and expressed happiness with his fatherly disposition and fight for the Igbo cause in the country.

He restated the alleged marginalisation of Ndigbo in the affairs of the country notwithstanding their contribution to nation building, adding, “Madubugwu explained that IPOB was not a terrorist organisation, and that it was being given a bad name in order to hang it.

“The IPOB leader said most of the actions of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, had been shaped by the information given to him which were sometimes distorted and assured that Nnamdi Kanu was always available for discussions with Nwodo on matters concerning the Igbo.”

Attamah also quoted another IPOB leader, Fred Ejimakor, as saying that Nwodo possessed the clout and charisma to help IPOB out of its present predicament, stressing that he was happy that the gulf that existed between IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo had been bridged for a united voice for Ndigbo in Nigeria.

Responding, Nwodo reassured the IPOB leaders that he was always ready to accept them back into the fold no matter their earlier recalcitrance.

He recalled efforts he had made to establish an amicable and complimentary relationship with IPOB since he assumed office, but that Kanu all such attempts.

The Ohanaeze helmsman restated that the group had no disagreements with Kanu and that he believed that with the recent truce, all evil machinations of detractors had come to naught.

Chief Nwodo prayed that the development should open the doors for mutual cooperation between IPOB and Ohanaeze Ndigbo and urged members of the group to also share views with Tony Nnadi, who he said, was working towards the same objective as IPOB.

He stated that Ohanaeze Ndigbo still believes in dialogue and restructuring of the country for an inclusive participation in the Nigeria project.

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