The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has challenged the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to tell the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to cease fire.
Oluwo, in a statement by his media aide, Alli Ibrahim, also asked the IPOB to embrace one Nigeria.
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“Our diversity is a strength. We must be smart with it and convert it to advantage. Achieving a one Nigeria is a collective responsibility. I challenge Ohanaeze Ndigbo to take responsibility and appeal to IPOB and ESN to cease fire. It is then that we will know we are all Nigerians in Nigeria and enjoy better sense of belonging.”
Oluwo said he would keep talking until the IPOB and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) stop killing people.
The monarch also said he had never said Igbo could not produce Nigeria’s president, but that they needed to restrategise.
He said, “For hasty conclusion and unguided vituperations, the respected throne of the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland deserves an apology from Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”
Faulting a recent statement by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo against his admonition on the sit-at-home order being enforced by IPOB, Oluwo said: “Igbo people are my own. I’ve Igbo in my blood. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a respected body representing a sophisticated, intelligent, hardworking, cosmopolitan, industrious and enlightened race.’
He said the Ohanaeze Ndigbo had false knowledge of him, saying “It is disappointing that my beloved Ohanaeze Ndigbo could jump on the media in response to a misleading headline casted to sell story.”
He said he remains one of the leading monarchs canvassing for a united Nigeria, equity and justice, “most especially for the Igbo tribe because I myself have suffered marginalization. I’ve invested heavily on sustaining Nigeria’s unity and will continue doing so. I expected a swift eradication of the sit home order by the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and The IPOB which I trust their cooperation with stakeholders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo can curb. I’ve reached out to respected monarchs from the East most especially the highly respected Obi of Onitsha and Igwe Agubuzuo of Enugu.
“The demarcated restriction is a self-inflicted punishment in a united state. No monarch feels the pain of the Igbos like I do. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo should read more about my activities before jumping on the media. My message is to their advantage should they see it as such.”
Oluwo said he was surprised that Ohanaeze Indigo could picture his “esteemed office” as dividing Nigeria.
“All informed Nigerians are not unaware of my sacrifice to hold the pillar of Nigeria’s unity. I’m a good friend of the Igbos and the only monarch to use made in Nigeria Igbo car, Innoson. I’ve a cordial relationship with Igbo highly respected monarchs and personalities. They have qualified brains who can be president. I’ve family in the Igbos like Chief Sam Iwuajoku and friends as Peter Emeagwali, Chief Billy Okoye, Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), Chief Chike Ogeah of Marriot Hotel, Peter Ugomozie and others too numerous to mention. Igbos are hardworking but no one is perfect.
“While I’ve promoted their strengths, their weakness must be addressed for adjustment. I’m a father to the nation. I’ve watched the activities of the IPOB and ESN on television and social media. They should stop hurting us by attacking our own (Igbo)people . Any Igbo kill is my family. Igbos should give equal opportunity to non Igbos on their land. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has to convince us by speaking to the IPOB and ESN regulating and enforcing sit at home order.
“My throne respects equity, Ohanaeze Ndigbo are challenged to reach out to the presidency to grip an idea of my consistency to have a national dialogue on Igbo Civil War wounds.
“I was the first monarch outside South East to visit Innoson manufacturing company own by an Igbo man Innocent Chukwuma and the only Nigerian monarch using Innoson vehicle which I bought in January 2018. I went further to advertise and promote the made in Nigeria vehicle on highway billboards throughout the country on my personal expenses.
“I want to challenge the Igbos further to name a monarch outside the South East who has ever dressed like an Igbo king? I remain an Oba and very committed to the unity and oneness of Nigeria. The Igbos should act more, talk more and do more on unity of Nigeria instead of their vituperation against an unrepentant preacher and promoter of one Nigeria.
“At the same time, I look forward to seeing Adekunle in Ibadan buying land conveniently in Akwa or Onisha market, Usman from Kano buying a land or owing a shop in Onitsha market the same way Emeka owed a house and many landed properties in Iwo. I reiterate, Igbos has to soften their stance on access to land by other Nigerians.
“I challenge the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and incumbent governor of Anambra State to appoint a Yoruba or Hausa man as one of his cabinet member as done by Lagos, Osun, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto State Governments.
“The stakeholders in the zone should address their subjects to promote mutual coexistence. People should be allowed to go to work and transact business. Sit at home order will do more harms to people’s means of survival. Secession is an abstract concept in modern Nigeria.”