From Magnus Eze, Enugu

National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia has raised the alarm that his life is being threatened by person’s he believes are sympathetic to Finland-based leader of Auto-Pilot version of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Simon Ekpa.

This came barely one month after President General of Ohanaeze, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu alleged that he was receiving phone calls and text messages from faceless persons who claimed that they were procured to eliminate him over his role in Igbo affairs.

Ogbonnia said he had received these threats since last weekend noting that the only offence he may have committed was serving Ndigbo.

According to Ogbonnia, his traducers claimed that he was planning to kill their leader, Ekpa, but that they will kill him first.

Even as he described the allegation as baseless, the Ohanaeze chieftain stated that it was the last thing on the apex Igbo group’s card be involved in anything that would lead to the loss of Igbo life.

He, however, said that he and other Igbo leaders will not be deterred by threats.

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Ogbonnia said: “Of course, that I can or will kill Ekpa is the most ridiculous, malicious, mischievous and satanic of all the statements in this world. It is a common knowledge that I don’t have the capacity to kill. I am neither trained as a soldier nor as a police officer or in any paramilitary organization with a duty to respond to threats to life and property. At my age, I cannot even kill a fly, talk more of a global Leviathan in the person of Mr. Simon Ekpa.

“In my duty as the spokesman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, I cannot shirk in my duty to stand by the core Igbo interests and Ohanaeze position on any national issue.  Undoubtedly, I expressed the view that the Igbo have become uncomfortable with the sit-at-home syndrome in the South East of Nigeria.; and that the persistent sit at home has caused the Igbo more harm than good. I also absolved the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on the lingering sit at home in the South East, indicating that Ohanaeze is a persuasive and not a coercive organization, thus does not have the capacity to stop the sit at home. I added that if the federal government feels that the security of Nigeria is being threatened by anybody or a group, it is the duty of the government and not Ohanaeze to take the necessary action.

I emphasized that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has appealed to our son, Mr. Ekpa to come home for a dialogue and that we will continue to appeal for peace in the South East.  This is the Ohanaeze position and indeed that of the Igbo Leaders.

“Let it be known that in spite of the threat to my life and indeed every other patriotic Igbo leader, the Ohanaeze Chief Iwuanyanwu will continue to remind the Igbo youths that it is a contradiction to face the barrel of the gun inwards. The primary duty of a freedom fighter is to defend and protect his people, and not the contrary. It is inconceivable how the destruction of Igbo economy through the intermittent sit at home syndrome will resonate with the central philosophy and aspirations of the Igbo in the present Nigeria.

“Finally, I wish to assure our son, Mr. Simon Ekpa, that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is interested in his well-being, and cannot contemplate nor be a party to neutralizing or killing him.

“The mischief makers are once again at work. There is no record where an officer of Ohanaeze has ever killed or taken part in a conspiracy to kill an Igbo or any person for that matter. Part of our duty, as leaders, is to appeal to our sons of all persuasions that we can work together in the interest of the Igbo.”

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