Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, president of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has said that the apex socio-cultural organisation was willing to negotiate with Simeon Ekpa, the factional leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), over the persistent imposition of the sit-at-home order on the people of South East geographical zone.
He disclosed this in Owerri, while addressing journalists in his office, Orji, Owerri, stating that the directive had caused a lot of destructive effects and economic woes to the region and that it needed to be stopped.
Iwuanyanwu, however, said that Ekpa, who is residing in Finland and against the advice of Nnamdi Kanu, the defacto leader of IPOB, has been subjecting the entire region for months now into socio-economic woes by exploiting the psyche of some uninformed youths.
“The rumour that some one who’s living in far away Finland is threatening and again issuing sit-at-home order for people in the South East, especially Imo State should be rescinded no matter the level of misunderstanding and annoyance.
“It’s not in the character of Igbo people to kill human beings not even themselves. I have passed the crucibles of life, fighting the causes of Igbo race. I am ready to negotiate with them no matter their grievances. Am ready to dialogue with them in the overall interest of the ethnic nationality in particular and Nigeria at large.
“I have nothing against him as a young man with better future. I have told him and some of his likes that we don’t need violence to achieve Biafra as an independent nation. Actualisation of Biafra’s independence should be a product of mutual dialogue. We don’t need violence during elections in Igboland.
“The region is not willing to be plunged into war again, honestly. It’s not necessary, instead of these killings of Igbo men and women, we should beg them to support plebiscites as strategic means of achieving the dream independence.
”Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has spoken through his lawyers and family members, that he has no hand in the sit-at-home order. Am being threatened by Ekpa and his group. Am willing to use non-kinetic energy to address their issues. They should have a rethink and bit a retreat. Killings and arsons are against the Christian and traditional faith,” Iwuanyanwu said.
On the forthcoming Imo State governorship election, he advised Imo State electorate to come out en masse and vote among the 18 gubernatorial candidates any candidate of “their choice.”
He said that Imo people were peaceful, law abiding and patriotic, noting that the insecurity in the state which he said was condemnable is being done by outsiders just to strangulate the activities of the state.
He insisted that Igbo were naturally peaceful and responsible people that abhors killing and destruction of people’s properties and every action should be put in place to the issues.