At different meetings held in Enugu State over the weekend, Igbo leaders urged Igbos still living in the northern part of Nigeria to “come back home”. They based their decision on the incessant killing of their kinsmen by members of Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
One of the meetings was held in the residence of late Odumegwu Ojukwu and had the former President-General of Ohaneze-Ndigbo, Justice Eze Ozobu, and the leader of the Movement for Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazurike, in attendance.
Another meeting was held between South East governors, politicians, and traditional rulers among other Igbo stakeholders. The Ohaneze Youth Wing also held a meeting, while the fourth was a South-East/South-South professionals meeting.
A statement signed by the chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, condemned the spate of killings going on in the country, and said that they (Igbos) were angry, especially as it affects Ndigbo.
“We have set up a committee to monitor the development as it unfolds and advice on future actions. We assure our people living in the North and other parts of the country that we are in constant touch with the various state governments to ensure the security of their lives and property,” he said.
However, on their part, the MASSOB and Ohaneze-Ndigbo leaders ordered all the wives and children of Ndigbo in the North to return home while their husbands stay back to take care of their investments.
According to Uwazurike and Ozobu, refugee centres have been created “all over Igboland to accommodate those without home”.
“The current situation in the North and the rampant killing of our Ndigbo, mothers and sisters in these areas, bring to mind a sequence of events and the pogrom that culminated in the tragedy of the Nigeria civil war. We are calling once again for emergency desks in the affected areas to be set up to access data regarding the nature of people who have lost their lives in the incidence,” they said.
“We are calling for immediate return of Igbo wives and children so that their safety can be assured here in the East. For the Igbo nation is once again facing an impending refugee crisis and our people are being forced to flee their homes and places of work and business to avoid death.”