– John Nwodo, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has outlined reasons why members of the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria feel marginalized by the federal government
– The Igbo elder faulted the Muhammadu Buhari administration for designating IPOB as a terrorist organization, and questioned why the pro-Biafra group would be likened to Boko Haram, with such designation
– Nwodo stated that Ndigbo view the treatment of IPOB as unfair, discriminatory and overhanded; and that they see the move as an attempt to encourage a profiling of Igbos in the international security arena
– Nwodo also bashed the constitution which was authored by the military government after the Civil War, as being against the interest of the nation
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo, has given various reasons why Igbo indigenes feel marginalized by the Nigerian federal government.
While delivering a speech at Chatham House, London, on Wednesday, September 27, Nwodo explained how the Igbos have carried scars from the coup and counter coup of 1966, which eventually led to the Civil War.
He further noted that the constitutions which were authored by the military governments are not in the best interest of the nation. He stated: “Our present constitution is not autochthonous. It was not written by the people of Nigeria.
It was not approved in a National referendum. “In jurisprudence, its effectiveness will score a very low grade on account of its unacceptability.
“Regrettably, it continues to hold sway and begins with a false proclamation- We the People of Nigeria.”
Nwodo greatly faulted the Muhammadu Buhari administration for designating the pro-Biafra group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as a terrorist organization.
He questioned why IPOB would be placed in the same category as Boko Haram, which is an armed organization that has carried out violent, lethal attacks against Nigerians.
He stated: “IPOB and Boko Haram have been designated as terrorist organizations by the federal government. This development in relation to IPOB is unfortunate.
“Boko Haram is an armed organisation which has attacked and occupied Nigerian territory, hoisted its flag and appointed local authority governments. “It has abducted and abused Nigerian women, kidnapped and imprisoned many and killed over two hundred thousand people.
“It is still involved in guerrilla warfare against Nigeria; yet the Federal government is negotiating with them. No member of Boko Haram captured by the military is under trial.
“Members of this Federal government are on record for condemning the previous government for brutal murder of Boko Haram members and condemning the retired Chief of Army Staff for zealous prosecution of the anti-terror campaign.
“Members of the sect who confess to a change of mind have been received along with their abducted female partners in the Presidency and rehabilitated.
The declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation is in my view hurried, unfair, and not in conformity with the intendment of the law. “Whereas I am not completely in agreement with some of the methods of IPOB like its inappropriate and divisive broadcast, the uncontested evidence given by the Attorney General of the Federation in an interlocutory action claiming that IPOB attempted and/or actually snatched guns from law enforcement agents are, if proven, merely criminal offences.
“They do not constitute enough evidence to meet international law definitions of a terrorist organisation.”
He further stated: “The Igbos in Nigeria feel the treatment of IPOB as unfair, discriminatory and overhanded. “They see the move as an attempt to encourage a profiling of Igbos in the international security arena.”