Gele Agbai, Owerri
Businessman and Publisher of Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has condemned the recent massacre in Ebonyi State, saying that Ndigbo would no longer tolerate such deliberate annihilation of its people.
Iwuanyanwu spoke on Thursday in Owerri, Imo State when he was conferred with an award by the Nigeria Patriotic Youths Against Corruption and Transparency Initiative.
He maintained that Igbo have always chosen the path of peace but warned that any further attack will leave them with no choice than to resort to self defence.
The elder statesman also threatened all those behind the attack not to take the quietness of Ndigbo for cowardice just as he stressed that the peace chosen by the zone was to avoid the sad experience of the civil war.
Iwuanyanwu boasted that his age is no barrier to what he could offer should such repeat again, advising that the best way out of the present challenge in the country is restructuring.
He revealed that the elders’ council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has mandated the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor and the chairman of the Governors forum, Dave Umahi to call an emergency meeting of stakeholders including members of the National Assembly from the zone.
The meeting according to Iwuanyanwu will deliberate on ways and means to protect Igbo people wherever they live.
He added that the meeting will also establish an emergency relief fund from where help could be given to victims of terrorism anywhere in Igbo land.
He said: “I’m angry about the Ebonyi incident, we have gone through this process before, I’m still alive today and strong, I might be old but I can stay in my office and give advice, ISWAP, Boko Haram and killer herdsmen are collaborators.
“In Igbo culture of “Onye-aghala-nwanne-ya, ” I want to make it clear to all and sundry that any attack on any Igbo soil is an attack on the entire Igbo land. Igbo will never fold their hands and watch people invade them in their homes, destroy their properties, rape their wives and kill them.
“I’m constrained to sound this warning as the chairman of Ohanaeze council of elders that we will no longer accept a situation where our people are invaded by terrorists.
“We will take every step to defend the lives and property of our people. We have passed through this journey and violence of war and we know it is very painful and lonely journey. That is the reason all elders of Igbo land are passionate about peace and unity in one Nigeria restructured under a new constitution that can protect every part of the country and create incentive to the benefit of the people and Nigeria”.