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The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has concluded plans to send emissaries to Finland and other Western countries to dialogue with various pro-Biafra agitators to end the killings and arson attacks on communities by security agencies.

Ohanaeze President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who disclosed this at the weekend, said if it would amount to laying down his life to ensure that peace returned to the Southeast, he would do it.


Describing the happenings in the Southeast as horrendous, the octogenarian appealed to the Nigerian government and security agencies to adopt a non-kinetic approach, insisting that killings must stop.

“I am ready to lay down my life,” he said.

Iwuanyanwu spoke while addressing journalists on the 2023 Igbo Day celebration coming up on September 28 and 29 during a church service held ahead of the event on Sunday at the Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd.

He said as the father of all Igbo people, he would use his exalted position as the President General of Ohanaeze to pursue peace at all costs, adding that he would go as far as Finland and other parts of the world to discuss with Biafran agitators.

“I’ll go to Finland and everywhere to see that there is peace in Igboland. I’ll go and cry to them. I pray to God that I achieve success,” he said.

He said: “I have decided that as a father, I am tired of the death of my children. Ndigbo has given me the responsibility of leading them at this time. Each time I hear anybody killed, I feel very sad.

“I feel very sad too because those of them who are joining whatever it is are doing it because some of them are hungry. Some of them are unemployed. I am not saying that hunger and unemployment should make somebody become a criminal but not everyone has the capacity to endure hardship or hunger.

“We have been using a kinetic approach, I think I’m going to advise, I am going to discuss as part of the Igbo Day celebration. I’m likely to announce a non-kinetic approach. I will as a father now call everybody. It is my duty to call everybody for peace. On the 29th of this month during my address, I will initiate a non-kinetic approach.

“I will appeal to our people because we have these programmes we have started so that when people leave school here they will have opportunities. So this non-kinetic approach will require everybody’s support. It will require the support of the state governors and the federal government.

“It is good for the federal government to have peace in the South East. It won’t pay them to have bloodshed. Because you see, bloodshed doesn’t pay anybody. So whatever sacrifices they make to bring the non-kinetic approach which saves killings and bloodshed will be useful and that is what I want to do.

“I am going to reach all these people by any means and I will talk for peace. I will beg them. I will even give them my life. If they want to take my life, I am ready to surrender. I will set up a committee. I will send people abroad. They have mentioned some names of people abroad they feel are doing this. I am going to set up a committee.

“I don’t want to kill any of my children. All these people, the gunmen are my children. We are going there to beg them and to appeal to them. Tell them please, tell us what you want us to do and we are doing it already. I am sure that even those who are hungry will find something for them to do to keep them happy. But the shedding of blood should stop.”

Simon Ekpa, a self-proclaimed disciple of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who openly calls for sit-at-home exercise in the region, lives in Finland. Ekpa is also believed to be behind the enforcement of the sit-at-home protest and the violent agitation for the separate state of Biafra.

Iwuanyanwu said he had resolved to transform Ndigbo to create employment opportunities, adding that it could be achieved with the cooperation of the Southeast Governors.

He said that Ndigbo were not out for war but for opportunities to better their lots. He urged the Federal Government to ensure that international airports, as well as rail transport, work well so that Ndigbo as business entrepreneurs would carry on their enterprise unhindered.

He also said that what Ndigbo needs is not palliative but opportunities to grow economically.

“We are not looking for guns but opportunities for our people. We are not looking for palliative but opportunities to aspire and fend for ourselves,” he said pointing out that if Igbo land has three seaports and the international airports are working to the extent that planes from Europe and other parts of the world can come to Southeast, there will be no need for palliatives.

“We want European airlines to be coming to the Southeast. They should improve the rail lines to link Ndigbo to other states in Nigeria,” he said.

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