The Igbo apex socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has begged the National leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, over the outburst of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Anaedoonline.ng earlier reported Clark had in an interview with BBC pidgin opposed the inclusion of the South-South region in Biafra Republic by IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
The elder statesman added that the proscribed group and its leader are dreaming over its inclusion of the Niger Delta region in the republic.
But in a statement last week Friday by its spokesman, Emma Powerful, IPOB slammed Clark for excluding the Niger Delta in Biafra Republic.
The group said that Clark is not speaking for millions of Niger Delta people earnestly yearning for their liberation from the Nigerian bondage.
Reacting to the attack on Clark, PANDEF National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, in a statement on Saturday, urged the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to call the outlawed group to order.
He, however, asked IPOB to apologise to the people of South-South for disrespecting the South-South leader.
Responding to PANDEF’s demand, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Alex Ogbonnia, denounced the IPOB statement, saying that it did not enjoy the support of Igbo leaders.
Ogbonnia stressed the need for the Ndigbo to have mutual relationships with other ethnic groups in the country.
He said: “All over the world, there is a fundamental difference between the youths and the elderly. The youths are characterised sometimes by a certain level of impetuosity and exuberance. That is the characteristics of the youths all over the world. It is not limited to the Igbo.
“As for the elderly, our role is to continue to condition them, advise them, guide them and by God’s grace, sometimes they listen.
“Coming to the remark by IPOB to our elder statesman for that matter, it doesn’t take the support of the elderly family of the Igbo.
“Ohanaeze is not in support of such remarks. We condemn such remarks vehemently, and we are asking Chief Clark to forgive, to understand that we still look at him as our leader in the southern and Middle Belt Forum.
“Our respect and regard for him is very, very much intact. We are also adding that fair enough, he has youths in the South-south who also cannot be exempted from the IPOB’s youthful exuberance.
“We urge the IPOB and our Igbo brothers that the struggle we are into now is one that requires inter–ethnic relation and collaboration.
“To that extent, you need other ethnic groups to carry on with whatever agitation we have. To begin to rubbish the leaders of other ethnic groups or elder statesmen is not really in the interest of the Igbo anyway.”
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