The new President General of the Igbo umbrella organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, has charged Igbos to embrace his plan of uniting the people for the challenges ahead.
In a statement he personally signed, Mr. Nwodo also said he could not disown two separatist Igbo groups, IPOB and MASSOB.
Mr. Nwodo told various Igbo groups based in Abuja on Tuesday that the challenge before Igbo people in Nigeria is enormous and only a united and focused people can make a difference.
The Ohanaeze leader, who is on the first phase of his consultations with Igbos, asked his audience to bury whatever differences they might have and unite to confront any common enemy.
The consultations are expected to take Mr. Nwodo to Abuja and Lagos.
He said the goodwill and enthusiasm of the people on his emergence was the catalyst that would fire his determination to serve the people diligently.
On the separatist groups, Indigenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Mr. Nwodo said, “no reasonable father would disown his child publicly because he misbehaved.”
He said Nigerians should also “ask themselves question regarding the circumstances that forced these youth to react the way they are doing.”
Mr. Nwodo said there were double standards in the handling of protesters in Nigeria by security agencies and wondered if there are different laws for different people.
He noted that the alleged persistent marginalisation of the Igbo in the country would be a thing of the past if the people took their destiny in their hands and took their God-given entrepreneurial skill home by investing in the spirit of “Akuruo uno” (the wealth that reaches home).
The Ohanaeze President, earlier on arrival in Abuja, paid a courtesy call on the palace of the Ezeigbo of Abuja, Nwosu Ibe, who prayed for him and charged him to restore the pride of Igbo people.
Meanwhile the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council has congratulated the Ohanaeze leader, promising to have a healthy working relationship with him.
In a letter signed on behalf of the group by the Emir of Gummni who is the Chairman of the Coordinating committee, Lawal Hassan, the group said it was convinced that working in harmony with Ohanaeze would open new frontiers of cooperation among the people and engender peace, development and progress for the country.