The Ohanaeze Ndigbo social cultural group Worldwide has chided the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for advising Northerners to be cautious of travels to the South East after the murder of Ahmed Gulak.
The National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, in a statement said it was unfortunate that Audu Ogbe, who has gained the respect of many as a detribalized patriot, issued the advisory.
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.
Ogbonnia stressed that the gruesome assassination of Gulak is painful and has been condemned in strong terms by Governor Hope Uzodinma, Imo people and 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.
Ogbonnia cited the fresh abduction of over 200 school children in Niger State, killings in Northern States, and wondered why the ACF singled out the South East as a no-go-area for the Northerners.
“The reference by Chief 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, incendiary, 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 5.15 am on April 25, 2016, the armed herdsmen numbering over 500 struck, killing 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 horrendous sight of 18 persons slaughtered by the Fulani herdsmen.
“Governor Dave Umahi could not withhold his tears as he saw the 18 corpses of Ebonyi State indigenes killed 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.
Ogbonnia reminded Ogbe and the ACF that it is the federating capacity of the Igbo, their fortitude and readiness to adapt to every part of the country, that have served as the salt without which the concept of Nigeria becomes tasteless.
Ohanaeze rated the statement by Chief Ogbe as baleful and urged the Nigerian government and patriots to hold Ogbe responsible because his remarks are capable of rocking the already precarious boat.
“It is strange that the leaders that have gained everything from Nigeria are always the first to set it on fire”, the statement added.