Ohanaeze To Buhari: Set Igbo Sons In Prisons Free, Support Zonal, State Police



By Ayo Kehinde



President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo World wide, Professor George Obiozor on Thursday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to the state to set free Igbo youths in various prisons in Nigeria and address the issue of insecurity in the region.

Speaking at the Imo State Government House during the reception for the President, Obiozor said Igbos by their nature are egalitarian and supporters of justice and social equality by virtue of trading and travelling which makes their presence felt all through the nooks and crannies of the country.

He thanked the president for his administration’s decision to complete the second Niger Bridge, build roads and railways across the country, adding that his visit was an indication of his open invitation for a new, inclusiveness policy that would accommodate the Igbo, promising him that separatists and secessionist agitation in the region was a fallacy in Igbo land. He called for the establishment of zonal and state police to complement the federal security arrangement for effective policing in the region.



See full text of Obiozor’s address below:


Mr. President your visit and presence today in Igboland and .

Owerri, Imo State in particular has more than political significance. In  manner of symbolism, this visit has thrown light into the cloudiness  and doubts surrounding the perception of the relations between your  Government and Ndigbo. Your presence reassures us that there is still  reason for optimism for Nigeria and Nigerian unity.

I feel very pleased in my capacity as President General Ohanaeze  Ndigbo Worldwide and on behalf of the galaxy of Ndigbo leaders  gathered here today, and the entire Igbo Nation, to welcome Your  Excellency wholeheartedly to Igboland. It is also our firm belief that this visit will mark the beginning of a new chapter of dialogue,  cooperation and understanding between Ndigbo and your

Mr. President, after all Nigeria has gone through in its nearly sixty  years of chequered history of crises and continuity and the  spectacular patriotic role of Ndigbo to ensure its unity and survival,
the consistent perception that the Igbos are separatists and secessionists agitators is a historical fallacy.

Indeed, if the truth must be told, Ndigbo are the most federating unit among all Nigerian citizens. Generally speaking anywhere in Nigeria  you don’t find the Igbos, run away something is wrong there. Igbos  are market people and travel adventurers. Consequently, what  defines the Igbo character is propensity for friendliness and harmonious peaceful coexistence and spirit of universalism of

This is who we are. Our Igbo adage says “Ojemba Enwe  Iro”, literally translated – A traveler makes no enemies.

Also another misconception of Ndigbo is that Igbos cannot speak with  one voice, ironically that is another fallacy, there are more things that unite Ndigbo than divide them. But the Igbo spirit defies conditions  that are obstacles for the expression of their individual or group  opinion. This sense of egalitarianism is what defines the Igbo system  of governance based on liberal democracy and social justice.

Mr. President, in spite of all the threats of secessionism or separatism facing the country, there is no doubt that no secessionist element can  succeed in Nigeria provided there is good governance based on equity, justice and fairness to all the citizens.

Ndigbo are committed to Nigerian unity and there is news for those  trying to push us out of Nigeria. Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the  ocean, no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out  of the ocean.

Mr. President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igboland and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form a new
foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of  concern to the Igbo Nation.

Your Excellency, the most urgent and imperative need of Ndigbo  today is security. The security of Ndigbo in Nigeria and beyond has  become a compelling primary responsibility of serious concern for
Ndigbo. Regrettably our South East Zone has recently become a  theatre of conflict, negating the peace-loving nature of our people. In this context Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls for the establishment of a zonal and state police apparatus to support and complement the existing Federal Security architecture. It is in this same vein that Ohanaeze  Ndigbo, appeals to you, Mr. President, to see to the release of Igbo youths detained by various security agencies across the country.

Mr. President, we appreciate the infrastructural work being  undertaken by the Federal Government in the South East such as the 2 nd Niger bridge. It symbolizes the unity and bridge across the various
regions of the country. However, the South East zone is in dire need  of more infrastructure sponsored by the Federal Government amongst  these are roads, bridges, railways and ports. It is the considered view of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, one that is also shared by the Igbo people that  federal investments in these critical areas will revitalize the economy  and will have the tangential effect of dousing the youth restiveness  and unemployment in the zone.

In conclusion, Mr. President, nothing is more important to the Igbos  in Nigeria today, more than the restoration of serious sense of  belonging and the spirit of Nigeria’s founding fathers based on one
nation, one destiny. And we believe this is possible through  Devolution of Power ensuring a sense of balance in our political

Thank You.