Ohanaeze Condemns Northern Elders Travel Ban On Northerners In South East Over IPOB Killings

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has queried the Arewa Consultative Forum for advising Northerners to stop traveling to the South East after the murder of Ahmed Gulak. Alex Ogbonnia, National Publicity Secretary, in a statement said it was unfortunate that Audu Ogbe, who has gained the respect of many issued the advisory.

Audu Ogbe said unless the trips are absolutely necessary and of compelling nature, “like matters of life and death, they should not be made”. The spokesman condemned the narrative that the South East has been taken over by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and unknown gunmen.

Alex Ogbonnia stressed that the gruesome assassination of Gulak is painful and has been condemned in strong terms by Governor Hope Uzodinma, Imo people and several groups including Ohanaeze.

Ohanaeze hailed the Northern Governors Forum for demanding that the murder be treated as a criminal act and warning that politicization of issues surrounding the death could lead to further violence in Nigeria.

Alex Ogbonnia cited the fresh abduction of over 200 school children in Niger State, killings in Northern States, and wondered why the Arewa Consultative Forum singled out the South East as a no-go-area for the Northerners.

According to his words; “The reference by Chief Audu Ogbe to the the killings of northern leaders in 1966 that triggered the events that led to a civil war that cost the country thousands of lives and an untold sufferings to millions of innocent people is to say the least very inflammatory, unreflective and unguarded.

“It should be noted that Igbos have suffered immeasurably in the current Nigerian dilemma. In Nimbo community of Enugu State, at about 5am on April 25, 2016, armed Fulani herdsmen numbering over 500 struck an attack, killing over 54 people.

“The Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi pleaded with the indigenes to accept the incident as an act of God. On March 30, 2021, Egedege community in Ebonyi State witnessed a pathetic sight as 18 persons were slaughtered by the Fulani herdsmen.

“Governor Dave Umahi could not withhold his tears as he saw the 18 corpses of Ebonyi State indigenes killed and spread like fish in the cold room. On Monday, the Commissioner for Capital City Development announced armed herdsmen invaded Ndiobashi in Izzi land and killed so many of our people.”

Ohanaeze noted that Igbo leaders have repeatedly called for restraint and warned against reprisal attacks. Ohanaeze rated the statement by Chief Audu Ogbe as hateful and urged the Nigerian government and patriots to hold Audu Ogbe responsible because his remarks are capable of causing more havoc and mayhem in the country.

Austine Ikeru
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