Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council of Elders, Chief Engr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has described as provocative and insulting, a court action instituted by a group which calls itself Northern Elders requesting the National Assembly to make a law to expel Igbos from Nigeria.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Ben Osuagwu, Iwuanyanwu said the action by the Northern group should be considered as treason and hostile, and against the unity, peace and stability of Federal Republic of Nigeria, urging Nigerians to view the action with great concern.
The elder statesman said that investigations carried out revealed that the action of the group does not represent the opinion of the leadership of Arewa and Northern Elders.
Iwuanyanwu recalled that few years ago, some Northern leaders rose from a meeting in Kaduna state and issued a communique calling for the expulsion of Igbos from Nigeria. He also observed that some months ago, some Northern youths and women embarked on protest, insisting that Igbos should leave Nigeria.
He described the situation as very embarrassing to not only Ndigbo, but also to all patriotic citizens of Nigeria, maintaining that in a larger sense, the action of these northerners, is treason against Nigeria.
Chief Iwuanyanwu made it clear that no group in Nigeria can claim greater ownership of Nigeria than the Igbos, adding that at every stage of the nation’s history since 1914, Igbos have played major roles in all activities that shape the destiny of Nigeria.
He recalled that during the struggle for Nigeria’s independence, Igbos championed the crusade. He also noted that in other areas such as economy, education, industry, sports, etc, Igbos have continued to play their roles and make tremendous contributions.
He said “Igbos will therefore want to make it abundantly clear to all and sundry that if anybody plans to expel Igbos from Nigeria and dispossess them of their hard earned assets they have all over the country, Igbos will never accept that.
“For avoidance of doubt, the name Nigeria is derived from one of the biggest rivers in Africa- River Niger. In Nigeria, this river transverses through substantial part of Igbo land. It is important to note that most of the people who want to expel Igbos and seize their assets do not have their states anywhere near the River Niger.
“We now want to tell Nigerians that Igbos are substantial owners of Nigeria. In some geopolitical zones, militants, Boko Haram and Herdsmen are operating dangerously, killing many innocent people. These people are secessionists. They have even mounted their flags in some Local Governments and collecting taxes. I want to point out the fact that Nigeria flag is flying everywhere in Igbo land”. the statement concluded.