Urges MASSOB, IPOB to come together

From Petrus Obi, Enugu

Archbishop of Enugu Anglican Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma has distanced the Igbo from threats that they may take up arms  to fight its cause insisting that the people of the South East are not ready to fight another war.

Reacting to a recent statement credited to IPOB in which the group threatened to take up arms, Archbishop Chukwuma queried the motive. According to him “Carry arms for what? Who are they going to fight? That is why I said that sometimes  they have to reason and come to their senses to know what they are talking about. It’s not a matter of carrying arms, but carrying arms to do what?

“I want to say that the Igbo don’t want war for now. We have fought a war and we are trying to see that we maintain peace for development. What we want is peaceful coexistence and finding a way to fight our common cause that we’re being cheated and we cannot get it by dialogue, then we can then begin to fight the cause in a way that will help us. But if we are not able to do that, then it becomes a problem.

“For now, nobody will support carrying of arms; against whom? They should be able to explain to us why and whom they intend to carry arms against. Is it justified? So, these are the things we must ask ourselves because Nigeria as it is now is in a very serious situation; what is happening in Southern Kaduna should teach us lesson. Those who carried arms against themselves in Kaduna are they in peace?

“So if we begin to carry arms, we will become another Southern Kaduna in Igbo land, and that will become a disaster. And we don’t want that anymore. They should know that with the situation of things in the country now, people are not interested in war, they are interested on how to make a living, feed their stomach, and get employment.

“And that is exactly what I have been telling the government and politicians that the cause of all these is idleness; if these people get reasonable employment, something that engages them, nobody will carry arms; you carry arms because you are frustrated. So this frustration must end by our people, they should look into how to end the idleness of these people.”

Threat to carry arms

IPOB had in a statement Friday last week by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emma Powerful, threatened that the killing and detention of its members will inevitably lead to armed conflict sooner or later. The group with mass appeal among South East youths has been clamouring for an independent State of Biafra. Its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is currently in detention facing treason charges.

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Part of the statement reads: “This state sponsored terrorism will inevitably lead to armed conflict sooner or later unless the culprits are made to face justice. From those that issued the orders from Aso Rock to the hapless ill-trained recruits that pull the trigger, must face trial.

“We in IPOB are placing humanity on notice that the last events of 20th of January 2017 will be the last time IPOB will march without self-defence mechanism in place. Nobody should say we did not warn them because we will continue to march until Biafra is restored.

“Freedom and right to associate, assemble and protest is one we must continue to exercise or else tyranny of Islamic fundamentalism will prevail. Unlike those in Nigeria that ordered the cold blooded execution of IPOB members legitimately seeking their God guaranteed right to self-determination, the world is fully aware as to what transpired on Friday 20 January 2017 and the killing of our members from August 20th 2015 going by the global coverage and outrage such barbaric act received.”

IPOB, MASSOB need no fight

On the ongoing verbal attacks between IPOB and a section of MASSOB loyal to Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, the Enugu Archbishop described what is happening as selfishness insisting that both sides should be cautioned.

His words: “Because whatever they are exchanging words for is their stomach and time has come for them to reason together and allow peace to reign. All we are talking about now is how to defend the cause of our people, not selfish individuals. Because both groups are controlled by someone and I will appeal to the followers to look back and caution themselves and find out the main cause of the face off and take a reasonable and honest cause that will be of benefit to our people.

“There is a better war to fight together because divided we fall; and that is the problem with the Igbo. We are not united; there is no proper leadership and I think with the new Ohanaeze, it is time to call them together and get them to fight a common cause rather than exchanging words. So, the newly elected leadership of Ohanaeze, led by Chief Nnia Nwodo has a very big assignment to wade into this misunderstanding; and if they can do that (I am ready to be involved also) they will be able to reach a common cause for which they can really salvage our people.

“For now, the picture they are painting is one of disunity and people could start to take advantage of that; so that will not help us. We are brothers and we must come together to find out what is the problem we are facing and then face it together. When we are divided, we cannot make any move and we become a caricature to the enemy.

“That’s exactly what is happening and I am not happy about it because I believe all of them have different agenda, which must not be selfish; the agenda must be of benefit to our people. But when it is becoming selfish and too materialistic, becoming a struggle of what you get, then it becomes a disappointing situation and we don’t want that. So, it  is time for them to ask themselves pertinent questions and find a way to resolve their differences. What we need now is peace, when we are peacefully together and we engage in dialogue, then we can be able to push our case before the Federal Government.

“I am totally against the rift between the two of them and I urge them to come together, reason together and see what they can do to find a common cause for the good of our people.”