IPOB sit at home, voyage of self-destruction, says Igbonine

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Igbonine Socio-cultural Organization has decried the negative economic impact of the continuous sit at home order of the Indegineous People of Biafra (IPOB) on the citizens of South-East states of the country.

Briefing journalists on Thursday in Abuja, President-General, Igbonine,High Chief Emeka Okonkwo lamented that the urgly trend if allowed to continue is capable of destroying the enterprise of the Igbo man, among other devastating impacts.

Okonkwo noted that the failure of the political class in addressing basic societal needs of security of lives and property and a healthy economy that creates jobs and good living, have left the citizenry disorientated and disillusioned. Trust is broken and the first casualty is Nigerian Nationalism.

According to him, opportunist ethnic promoters took advantage, promising eldorado and are almost succeeding in dismembering the strong dynamic nation – Nigeria.

He lamented that the trending issues of religious terror groups, armed brigandry in some parts of the nation, armed herdsmen running amok across the nation, unknown gunmen who are killing security personnels and destroying public property, are almost succeeding in turning South-East into a policeless hobian state; and many other anti-social vices being perpetuated all around the nation.

Okonkwo therefore urged government of all tiers to rise to the occasion and proffer solutions to these malaise.

He said,”We are ready to offer ideas towards solutions to these nation-threatening problems that have been a source of division, agony and misery for Nigerians, and portray our country in a negative light.

“Igbonine’s greatest concern now is the very sorry and unfortunate situation in the South-Eastern states of Nigeria which, apart from resulting in loss of lives, has caused serious economic hardship and ruin to the businesses of our people, an acknowledged dynamic and enterprising race in Nigeria.

“There have been gory and woeful tales of avoidable deaths, wanton destruction of goods and property in the past few weeks which has led to the questions; What is wrong? Who is to be blamed? What can be done to bring an end to this evil?

“Most tragically, a Priest, Rev. Emeka Mezenu, in charge of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Ihitte Ukwa, Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State was shot and stabbed to death in the early hours of Tuesday 14th September 2021.

“It was speculated that the priest was killed because he defied the FORCED STAY-AT HOME order and allowed students to sit for their West African Senior Secondary School Examination at his Parish School the previous day. The students were chased away from the hall and not allowed to sit for the examination, thus, making them lose one year of academic life. What a shame!

“These sad tales are only those that have been reported and publicized. There are many other incidents of deaths and destruction of property in the hinterland that have not been reported.

“In the past seven days, businesses, banks, schools and markets have remained shut for three days in the name of Sit-at-home allegedly ordered by IPOB leaders. Many households which depend on daily income for their sustenance go to bed hungry and the sick cannot access medicare. Even in war environments, situations are not this hopeless.

“The visit, last week, of President Buhari to Imo State during which he engaged the leadership of Ndigbo in mutual discussions on the way forward to a united Nigeria is more beneficial to both the Federal Government and the people of the South East. This is a step in the right direction and a sure sign of a new beginning.

“Igbonine is constrained to call the attention of our brothers and sisters, who are giving overt or covert support to the misguided youths involved in this damage to the psyche, lives and welfare of the people living in the South-East, to the negative impact of their actions on Ndigbo.

“Apart from loss of lives, we are losing businesses and income on a daily basis from the apparently unending Sit-at-home orders.

“We cannot continue on this voyage of self-destruction, and cutting our nose to spite our face. The state of affairs in the South-East is capable of completely destroying the enterprise of the Igbo man and revising the gains of the Akuluono philosophy.”

Okonkwo called on all strata of leadership in the South-East – government of all tiers, Religious leaders, Ohaneze Ndigbo and its affiliates, Town Unions, Opinion and Community Leaders, Traditional Rulers, even village heads and age groups to consult among themselves and determine how to end this actions of self immolation in Igboland.

“We should no longer sit at home but move out and pursue our daily businesses.

“Sitting at home, indolence and laziness are not part of Igbo culture. We are serious minded and enterprising people who toil to create wealth for ourselves and society. We should go back to work to continue to develop the South-East and Nigeria at large.

“Igbonine calls on all state governments in the South-East to show seriousness and take charge of the situation,” he said.

Igbonine Sociocultural Organization was inaugurated in Enugu on June 21, 2021 with the focus to unite Ndigbo at home and in the Diaspora; build prosperity through creative innovation and excellence; promote Igbo language and culture; promote security and safety and work in synergy with Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo umbrella organization and other Igbo groups and also collaborate with other thnic nationalities in Nigeria, to bring about the greatest good and happiness for all.