President Muhammadu Buhari has come under fire from the leading Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, over his recent remarks on the killings in the South East.
According to Anaedoonline.ng, President Buhari denounced the weekend shooting deaths of eight Nigerians and police officers in Imo State by unidentified gunmen.
In order to stop the killings in the South East region and to uphold the country’s cultural and religious legacy, the Nigerian leader asked community and religious leaders to speak out more vehemently.
Ohanaeze criticized the President for portraying the killings of Nigeriens and other nationalities as having an ethnic flavor in a statement they released in response to the President’s remarks on Monday.
The group claimed in a statement released by its spokesman, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, that President Buhari’s remarks were cruel and maliciously intended to incite animosity toward the Igbos in non-indigenous people.
The Buhari government is to blame for the killings and violence in the South East, according to Ohanaeze, which has criticised the security situation in the area.
The statement reads: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide joins the Presidency and indeed the good people of Nigeria in condemning this dastardly act that occurred at Imo State, South East of Nigeria.
“Ohanaeze has repeatedly explained that amongst the Igbo, human life is very sacred. The sanctity of life is so elevated that killing a human being in whatever circumstance is considered an abomination. In fact, it is not in the character of the Igbo to kill in whatever disguise.
“These recent developments are indeed very much alien to the reflexes, culture, and norms of the South East. And we have often called on the Nigerian security operatives to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are brought to book as a deterrent to others.
“The apex Igbo body, however, noted that the failure of the Nigerian security agents to fish out the criminals cannot be blamed on the Igbo.
“Ohaneaeze Ndigbo, however, frowns at the statement by the Presidency, which is nuanced against the South East as a haven for terrorists that attack non-indigenes and law enforcement officials, implying that the insecurity persists because the leaders have not forcefully spoken.
“This is very unfair to the Igbo, especially when the presidency knows the root cause and the nature of the insecurity in the South East. It needs to be added that the solution to the insecurity in the South East lies in the enormous powers of the presidency.
“The above remarks by the presidency appear to have ignored the prolonged open war with the Boko Haram in the North East; the Banditry in the North West, especially in Katsina State; the Fulani Herdsmen invasion of several communities in the Middle Belt region; the Church massacre at Owo; the daily kidnappings on our highways; the Kaduna-Abuja train abduction, et.c.”
Ohanaeze stated that the Igbo are the most hospitable among the various ethnicities in the world, saying that non-indigenes in the South East are treated with love and care.
The statement reads: “The Igbo possess the greatest wanderlust as well as the most hospitable dispositions amongst the various ethnicities in the world. The non-indigenes in the South East enjoy untrammeled friendliness, inter-ethnic assimilation and a conducive business environment; what happened to the non-indigenes in the South East is most regrettable as part of the current national calamity.
“One would think that the inevitable consequences of the orchestrated mendacious propaganda, dubiety, subterfuge, sabotage, and serial alienation against the South East of Nigeria are already staring us in the face.
“How do we fight insecurity by appointment of service chiefs based on ethnocentric and religious considerations as against the best global practices of military competence?
“Put differently, how can the South East be excluded among the over 16 service chiefs in the Nigerian armed and paramilitary forces and expect insecurity not to fester? And how; and how; and how…..? And when the chickens have come home to roost, we resort to blaming the victim.
“The famous psychologist, William Ryan, espoused that blaming the victim is an atrocious ideology that tries to justify social injustice against a group. The oppressor deliberately creates an unjust chaotic environment for the oppressed; and blames the victims for the inevitable crises that flow therefrom.
“In conclusion, it is very uncharitable, if not mischievous, to poison undiscerning minds by insinuating that non-indigenes and security officials are killed by the terrorists in the South East.
“On the other hand, to appropriate national problem to the South East of Nigeria is an ethnic prejudice taken too far. Invariably, banditry in the North Central persists because their leaders have not forcefully spoken. Rather, they are publicly celebrated and turbaned or still offered the Sheik Gumi option.
“Both history and current events in the country must have shown that unjust policy against the just shall ultimately vindicate the just.”
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