The apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has stated that the people and residents of Imo State are not hostile to the person and administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
It, therefore, urged them to troop out en masse on Thursday to show their love and welcome Buhari to Imo State.
The Ohanaeze group made the submission in its reaction to the purported order given by the proscribed Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that the people of Imo State should observe a sit-at-home during the President’s planned visit to the southeastern state on Thursday.
The proscribed pro-Biafra group stated that Buhari is not “welcomed into Imo State, Biafra Land on Thursday, 9th September 2021.”
But Ohanaeze has called on the indigenes and residents of Imo to ignore the IPOB order.
Deputy President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Dimm Uche Okwukwu in the statement described Buhari as a friend and defender of Ndigbo.
He listed some of the key positions in government that are occupied by Igbo people as well as some huge federal projects been executed by the Buhari administration in various parts of Igboland.
The statement reads: “We urge all Imolites and residents of Imo State to completely ignore and disregard the purported order, or any illegal order, capable of portraying Imo people and the larger Igbo population as hostile to the exalted Office of the President of the Federal Republic. We encourage all to come out en masse and welcome the President.
“Contrary to the blind outbursts from certain quarters, he gave Igbo sons and daughters key posts in his government. Eng. Ibe Kachukwu was his Petroleum Minister. Dr Chris Ngige remains the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“Chief Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the first Nigerian to serve as Minister of Transportation while Dr Ogbonnaya Onu serves as Minister of Science and Technology, all in President Buhari’s government. In the Security structures of Nigeria, President Buhari made the Igbo-born General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor his Chief of Defence Staff. We could go on.
“Since 2015 President Buhari has retained an Igbo man called Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Any man who hates you can never trust you with the key to Nigerian treasure house. Only a true friend of Ndigbo can do that.
“We Igbos never voted for President Buhari in 2015 and 2019 but he still carries us along, infrastructure wise. He is building the Second Niger Bridge to facilitate human and commercial movements. He is interested in building a pioneer Multi-Disciplinary University at Ubima and deep sea port in Bonny, all in Rivers State.
“The badly damaged Port Harcourt-Enugu Express Road is currently receiving positive attention from President Buhari. He has done us well. So we must come out to welcome him to Imo State.”
Ohanaeze added that nothing must be allowed to threaten the peace in Imo state before, during and after the President’s visit.
The group encouraged all stakeholders to embrace peace and use the opportunity to convince other Nigerians that Igbos are serious about their 2023 presidential ambition.
“We must also accept the fact that there is nothing Imo people can do between now and January 2024 when they will go to the polls and reelect or replace the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma. But as lovers of progress, we must support him in hosting the president. We must do everything in our power to maintain the peace while our August visitor from Abuja is in Igboland.
“We must be good hosts and never contemplate any boycott capable of reminding other Nigerians that they once went to war against us. Indeed, we must turn the presidential visit into a bridge-building opportunity capable of convincing Nigerians to zone the 2023 presidency to Ndigbo”.
Meanwhile, the government of Imo State has declared that all is in order and plans to receive President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday are on track.
The Imo State Commissioner for Infomation, Declan Emelumba who gave the assurance on Tuesday said all necessary things are been done to receive the President safely and warmly.
Source: Naija News