Ohanaeze Condemns Northern Elders Forum’s Baba-Ahmed For ‘Extremely Nauseating’ Comments On Ndigbo
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Wednesday, condemned the viral broadcast by Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
Dr Ahmed had in the broadcast said the Igbo should leave Nigeria if they so desired.
Ohanaeze, in a release by its national publicity secretary, Dr Alex Chiedozie Ogbonnia, described Ahmed’s broadcast as ‘boorish’ and ‘uncultured statements by those who have met civilization half-way’.
Dr Ogbonnia said, “We are not distracted by lowly persons who by the circumstances of their birth and conditions in life do not weigh the implications of their public conduct.
“Nigeria requires leaders who can formulate ideologies, policies and programmes aimed at harmonising the diverse component units at all times.
“This accounts for such federal government schemes as the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), Federal Government (unity) Colleges and other unifying national bodies.
“Remarks with centrifugal dynamics are deliberately avoided to engender a genuine unity for the multicultural and multinational units of the country.”
He said Ohanaeze found Ahmed’s broadcast ‘extremely nauseating, uncouth, provocative, very arrogant and licentious’.
Baba-Ahmed had told newsmen that, ‘If secession is what every Igbo wants, and this is what the Igbos want, the nation should not fight a war over it. Northerners resident in the Southern Nigeria [should] consider returning to the North.”
Ohanaeze described the statement as ‘a coup speech where an uninformed began to issue directives before the complete takeover of the reins of power’.
Our correspondent reports that Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s media man, cautioned Dr Baba-Ahmed thus, “It is a delusional arrogance that would lead such a group (Northern Elders Forum) to publicly state terms and conditions for the existence of our nation.”
Continuing, Ohanaeze said, “It is very certain that Baba-Ahmed knows next to nothing about the economy and political tendencies of Nigeria.
“In his narrow thoughts, he does not reflect on the consequences of the Igbo leaving the country. He believes that the economy of the remaining part of Nigeria will be better off if the Igbo, among others, go their separate ways.
“The Igbo youths who were not even born before or during the Nigerian Civil War are aggrieved over the alienation of the Igbo from the structures of power in Nigeria.”
Ohanaeze warned against ploys to truncate the Igbo presidency in 2023. According to the statement, “Nigerians and the world are living witnesses to the shenanigans and conspiracies by the likes of Baba-Ahmed to truncate the Igbo democratic rights.
“It is in response to such injustice that triggers the agitation among the Igbo youth for self-determination. Such scenario played out among the Yoruba, South West, when Chief MKO Abiola’s presidency was annulled. And confidence and trust were restored with the zoning of presidency to the South West.”
Dr Ogbonnia said the Igbo ‘want to coexist peacefully and in unity with our fellow Nigerians’, adding however that ‘the unity we want is not the unity of Jonah in the belly of the whale, but a unity in holy matrimony’.
While describing Dr Ahmed’s background as ‘shady’, Ohanaeze stated, “His Mauritanian root betrays an identity crisis and psychological torture in him and he thus believes that to ingratiate himself to the Hausa-Fulani establishment, he should invest in vicious invectives against the entire South and the Igbo in particular.
“This is against natural justice and all known principles of nation building. We reiterate that the broadcast by Baba Ahmed is a threat to peace and unity of the country, and that the security agencies should act on time to serve as a deterrent to some others harbouring such mindsets against the unity of Nigeria.”