RESTORING THE DIGNITY OF MAN AND HEALING THE NATION
BEING A PRESS CONFERENCE DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT GENERAL OF OHANAEZE NDIGBO WORLDWIDE, AMBASSADOR PROFESSOR GEORGE A OBIOZOR AT THE OHANAEZE HEADQUARTERS, NO 7 PARK AVENUE, GRA, ENUGU ON THURSDAY APRIL 15, 2021.
I welcome you all to the headquarters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide. Let me thank all the journalists here for the very robust relationship and solidarity you have demonstrated since we came on board in January 2021 as the elected officers of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
It gives me great pleasure to once again address all of you on key national issues. I had assured you that from time to time we shall always assemble in this Ohanaeze Ndigbo Secretariat for an interactive session. It is my belief that a sustained partnership with the press will help to promote the lofty agenda of the current executive of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. You are welcome.
To begin with the greatest news I bring to you today is the heartwarming and overwhelming reception of Ndigbo of the news of the formation of Ebubeagu, a zonal security apparatus by the South-east Governors for the security of the south-east zone. Ohanaeze Ndigbo wish to congratulate the Governors for this milestone and assure them of the support of Ndigbo anywhere and everywhere for their efforts towards the security of Alaigbo. Also we congratulate them for their emphasis on ban on open grazing across Igbo land.
Once more, I state that there is no No Man’s land in Igbo land. Land is a very sensitive issue in Igbo land because land has owners including some Igbo Deities. Those encroaching on land in Alaigbo are provoking our people and our Deities.
We all are aware that we are passing through one of the worse times in virtually all aspects of our national life. General Murtala Ramat Muhammed over 4 decades ago succinctly captured the mood of our nation today in his message to the National Episcopal Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops held at Onitsha on September 9-14, 1975. “For too long we have paid lip service to the issue of remoulding our society, far too long, we have talked glibly in the past of the birth of a new nation while our nation continued to burn leaving big scars on our image as a people.
Now distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is another critical time to rethink, reflect and to act before the prophecy of the late Chinua Achebe’s book “Nigeria: There was a country” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of a national reality and a national tragedy foretold. Sub- national consciousness or ethnocentric nationalism which is a dangerous form of nationalism to national unity and empires has taken over Nigeria, the dream of Nigeria unity is receding and fading fast with violence, crises and conflicts.
The result of all these is the rise of ethnic militias, agitation for secession, self-determination, insurgency, banditry, etc. These are historical protracted and unwinnable wars by nations and empires and there will be no exception. And among every other issue in contest in Nigeria today, this situation has produced the state of insecurity throughout the country. Today, Nigerians have no place to hide and also since there is nothing new in history, history has solution for these national problems. The Federal Government must therefore learn a lesson from history by not fighting an unwinnable war against nationalism but seek possible peaceful options that are the only solution that guarantees national unity and peaceful co-existence.
I therefore urge the Federal Government to reconsider the use of force in resolving the present national crises. Again history shows that military and violent means to solve thenational question is bound to fail as it leads to further national fractionalization, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration, as in all Empires or multi
national state or countries. Nigerian political leaders must make haste and make careful and delicate choices on how to solve Nigerian problem which is Nigeria National question. Above all measures, the Federal Government itself must Conspicuouslyembrace the values of justice, equity and fairness in their true sense for real peace, progress, unity and development to thrive in Nigeria. The greatest problem for leadership anywhere in the world begins when the general public or citizens including members of the national political elite become conscious of the existence of governance based on selective morality, outrageous paradox and double-standard. And at that point, citizen alienation set in and the results are loss of integrity, prestige, diminishing legitimacy and authority of the government. No government should get to the point where the citizens will feel uncomfortable or doubtful about its decisions on matters of national interest and destiny.
It is time the government and people start the healing process, Nigeria is in agony and pains, it is time for national healing.