Chris Steven, Abuja
The Igbos for Nigeria Movement [INM] has called on the foremost Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo and Igbo Leaders to apologize to the military for their earlier acts of silence, indifference, collusion and passive support that allowed the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to metamorphosed into a full blown terror group, whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, hijacked the Igbo agitation for fairness to incite hatred across the land.
Reacting to a visit to Gombe state on a peace mission by Ohaneze’s President General, Chief John Nwodo and other Igbo leaders, Igbos for Nigeria Movement expressed relief that the period when the organization and Igbo leaders played politics with what is ordinarily a nationwide quest for a better deal is over.
It commended the Nigerian Army for having the will to tackle IPOB as a festering sore that was on the verge of compromising the health of the nation noting that there is nowhere in the world where terrorists are allowed to flourish unchallenged as earlier canvassed by certain many Igbo and Ohaneze leaders with vested interests.
Igbos for Nigeria Movement explained that some top members of Ohaneze and Igbo political leaders that had banked on using IPOB and Kanu to score political points soon discovered that they were as much the victims of a terror infrastructure but had become too ashamed to accept their sins and dilemma until the launch of Operation Python Dance II, which some of them still kicked against out of habit.
The movement said it is reassuring that the same people that were supporting IPOB, even when they were hostages, are today relishing the freedom procured for them through the success recorded by Operation Python Dance II, which has empowered them to again grow the courage to visit the same people that Kanu had vilified without them censuring him.
It said in its sincere opinion, the least Ohaneze, Chief Nwodo and other Igbo leaders can do is to retract their past statements on the Operation Python Dance II and to encourage troops to root out other evils that have made Igboland into a place that other Nigerians avoid as a place to settle down. According to the group, the ill conceived quit notice to Igbos by some northern youths had exposed how groups like IPOB placed Igbos at a disadvantage because Igbos settle in other parts of the country in large numbers while only few persons of other ethnic groups make Igboland their homes because of attitudes like the one exhibited by Kanu.
Igbos for Nigeria Movement noted that going forward, the expectation is that Ohaneze and any one that genuinely calls himself a leader in Igboland must now put the interest of Igbo people above their personal interest and this includes accepting that IPOB was a monster that was set to consume the genuine cause which every Igbo man had vigorously pursued in the past.
According to the movement, had the military not stopped IPOB and Kanu, the path they were threading was on the verge of making Igbos lose what they had toiled to build in other parts of Nigeria in the past five decades given the way they needlessly antagonized other ethnic groups, including calling for their death.