UK’s Silence On Nigeria ‘Paradoxical’- Ohanaeze
The 2023 presidential election is a defining moment for the Igbo in Nigeria, president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador Professor George Obiozor, said Thursday.
Amb Obiozor stated this when Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide was hosted by the British High Commission in Abuja.
The British high commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, told the delegation that the essence of her invitation to them was to seek clarifications on the agitations in the South East, clamour for a president of Nigeria from the South East, Nnamdi Kanu saga and general wellbeing of Nigeria.
She used the opportunity to debunk the news that the United Kingdom had designated the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organization, the national publicity secretary of Ohanaeze, Dr Alex Ogbonnia, told THE WHISTLER in Enugu on Friday.
Dr Ogbonnia quoted the high commissioner to have said that ‘the activities of IPOB in Nigeria do not meet the UK specifications for a terrorist organization’.
Professor Obiozor thanked the high commissioner for extending the invitation to Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.
He said, “Ohanaeze is the umbrella body for over 60 million Igbo resident in all parts of the world.
“The Igbo are committed to the unity of the country, perhaps more than any other ethnic group in Nigeria. The Igbo are the next in population to the host communities in all parts of Nigeria.”
Obiozor, former Nigerian ambassador to the State of Israel, Cyprus and the United States of America, told the British representative that the Igbo aspiration for leadership in Nigeria started long before the Nigerian independence.
Over fifty years after the Nigerian civil war, the Igbo have not seen the rear light of Nigeria, he said.
Quoting him, “It is self-evident that there is an existing rotation of power and zoning principles aimed at ensuring equity and sense of belonging to the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
“The British are aware that it is the turn of the South East to produce a president for Nigeria, yet, a group of people is plotting to change the goal post at the middle of the game.
“The time has come for us to know what Nigeria wants to do with the Igbo. It is paradoxical for the British to be silent on the implosive unitary structure of Nigeria while they are liberalizing structures of governance in the UK.
“Nigeria was conceived a federal system by the founders and the 2014 National Constitutional Conference and the El-Rufai Committee reemphasized the need for true federalism in Nigeria, yet the leadership of the country has paid a deaf ear to such salient recommendations.”
The high commissioner commended the Igbo for their spirit of entreprise all over the world, adding that the UK were interested in the peace and unity of the country.
She assured the delegation that the High Commission would do everything within their ambits to promote justice, equity and peace in Nigeria.
The Ohanaeze delegation included Ambassador Okey Emuchay, the secretary general; Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former governor of Anambra State; HRH Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Prince Gary Igariwey, Chief S.N. Okeke, and Professor Charles Nwekeaku.