Ohanaeze, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, has said it would disown Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), if he persists in making statements capable of undermining national unity.
Ohanaeze’s position was made public the same day Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, described Kanu as representing himself rather than the Igbo nation.
Addressing members of Anambra state House of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, yesterday, the President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, expressed bitterness over Kanu’s call for a boycott of Anambra Governorship election scheduled to hold in November.
He threatened that the Igbo would disown Kanu and his group, if he continued to make such reckless statements, adding that he has breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.
He said: “News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as President-General of Ohanaeze.
“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalization and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.
“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?
“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust.
He was received by the Speaker of Anambra state House of Assembly, Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu, and a former national Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, among other members of the House.
Maduagwu and Umeh in their separate speeches, warned the Igbo to eschew division in whatever cause they are pursuing, saying that the time for the Federal Government to listen to the Igbo has come.
Earlier, the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on legislative matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, had said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause, and would continue to do everything to support the Ohaneze in protecting the Igbo interest.
Also, yesterday, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha justified the exclusion of Nnamdi Kanu from consultations on ethnic tensions in the country.
The governor said that Kanu does not represent the Igbo nation even though he rides on the back of the obvious lack of federal presence and neglect of the South East.
Addressing journalists at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Governor Okorocha described Nnamdi Kanu as young man seeking for relevance, saying that what he stands for must be treated separately from the entire Igbo nation.
He asked: “Does Nnamdi Kanu has the capacity to lead Igbos to war or lead me and the governors to war? So, I will stand now and Nnamdi Kanu will tell me stand up let’s go to war,”