The Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo as directed by the South-East governors and leaders, has invited members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to be part of the peace and reconciliation talks that will stem tides of crimes and chaos in the region.
Ohanaeze also invited Biafra National Guard (BNG), Biafran Zionists Movement (BZM) and other organisations and associations operating in the zone and Igbo land in general, adding they play huge roles in achieving total peace and harmony in Igbo land.
This came as the Indigenous People of Biafra has ordered a protest and a sit-at-home on May 30. It also forbade church services on that day in South-East, adding that the protest would hold in 100 countries where IPOB members and sympathisers reside.
In a similar manner, the South-East governors have been asked to seek advice from security experts in particular, following the growing level of insecurity in the land, Vanguard reports.
The Ohanaeze Reconciliation Committee, comprising over 50 renowned Igbo drawn from the National Assembly, serving ministers, prominent traditional rulers, clergies, technocrats and businessmen was inaugurated last week at the Ohanaeze headquarters in Enugu.
The extension of invitation to the groups was part of the resolutions of the committee during its inaugural meeting. It was learned that IPOB was excluded because of the terrorist calling the Nigerian government inscribes on it.
The committee, it was further learnt has already embarked on broad consultations with stakeholders and leaders across the South-East region, the nation at large and the Diaspora.
The members have vowed to reach out to everyone as “there is no substitute for peace”, insisting that the “ultimate objective of the exercise is to ensure peace, development, security and safety of Ndigbo wherever they are particularly in their homeland.”
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has therefore urged Ndigbo everywhere to make “every effort and contributions necessary to guarantee peace and security in Igboland”, urging them to “send any information, suggestions, petitions, and documents that would facilitate the work of the committee to Ohanaeze National Secretariat, Enugu, through the Committee Secretary , Peter Aneke.
Recall that IPOB in a statement yesterday, through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful said the sit-at-home was to honour its fallen heroes and heroines, adding that it would be observed in markets, churches, parks, airports and seaports within and outside the region and beyond.
The IPOB publicist said there would be no procession, protest nor church services anywhere in the zone, urging its members to stay indoors throughout the day.
The statement read in part: “We, the global family of the Indigenous People of Biafra wish to announce to the public and Biafrans both home and abroad that the annual anniversary of our fallen heroes and heroines will be on Sunday, 30th of May, 2021.
“As usual, there will be a total lockdown of the entire Biafra land on that day.
“There will be sit-at-home across Biafraland, Lagos, Abuja as well as northern towns with reasonable Biafran population.
“The sit-at-home order is also to be observed in all the markets within and outside Biafra land where our people do their businesses. It shall also be observed by Diasporan Biafrans in the over 100 countries where the IPOB family is present.
“We equally request our fellow comrades in Yoruba, Middle Belt and other Christians living in the far North to solidarise with us in the event as we honour all those who have paid the supreme price in our struggle for total freedom.
“All Biafrans living overseas must hold rallies in their respective countries of abode in honour of our fallen heroes and heroines including the gallant Imo State Eastern Security Network commander, Ikonso and his men who were murdered by the Nigeria security agents.
“The rallies will also show the outside world of our resolve and preparedness to leave Nigeria. We equally advise our Diasporan people to ensure they get the written approval of their host countries before embarking on the rallies.
“30th of May every year is very dear to Biafrans because it was the date our Hero, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declared our resistance to the genocidal attacks by Nigeria and Fulani which culminated into the 30-month civil war from 1967 to 1970.
“We shall always remember all those who died in the course of the war and our march to freedom.
“Consequently, there will be no movement on the roads throughout Biafraland; no banking or financial services in our territory; no commercial activities of any kind.”
SaharaReporters, New York