By Femi Odere
Our attention has been drawn to the comments made by Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the Chairman, Council of Elders of Ohaneze Ndigbo in a video clip that has gone viral. Chief Iwuanyanwu made these comments on Saturday, March 25th at a ceremony in Anambra State where he was a special guest of Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s one-year commemoration in office.
In the video, Chief Iwuanyanwu said, “I want our people in Lagos to know that on Wednesday, I called a meeting of the Ohaneze Council of Elders worldwide and we x-rayed the events in Lagos…We have resolved that never, never again can we allow anybody to take the life of an innocent Igbo person. All of us are going to fight the person. Never again. We are going to fight the person.”
“We are in Nigeria. And we have invested in Nigeria. Our investments are so much. We are not going to take the pressure of people telling us to go. We are not going anywhere. And I want to tell those in Lagos to realize that there’s no war between us and Yorubas. Yorubas are just political rascals. And we’re going to handle them.”
Although it is tempting to go toe-to-toe with Chief Iwuanyawu in what we believe was a deliberately made provocative, irresponsible, and condescending statement in our response, which would also have disparaged the entire Igbo people. But we won’t.
We would have blamed Chief Iwuanyanwu’s outburst on some cheap whiskey taken at the event where he made this negative, utterly annoying remarks. Or perhaps his morbidly obese body constitution could be the culprit as this might be affecting his capacity to think clearly and speak intelligently.
But we wager that what happened at the Soludo event was another one of those predetermined, calculated attempts to draw the ire of the Yoruba people in order to create an unstable sociopolitical atmosphere in the polity to achieve their pathological fixation for an Interim government. We’re too discerning to fall for that bait.
The invective of Chief Iwuanyanwu, and by extension, his Ohaneze Ndigbo clan against a people whose only sin is the fact that they are too loving and accommodating for their liking (because they lack these virtues) should be seen within the context of someone having a withdrawal symptom after working himself into a frenzy for so long that his candidate would win the recently concluded presidential election without any empirical and intelligent political permutations to justify his delusion.
We should therefore brace ourselves for more of this senseless and idiotic vituperation as the inauguration of President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu draws closer.
We urge our people to resist any attempt to be provoked because their overarching game plan is to create a crisis atmosphere so that our democracy can be truncated. They know that their court case is wooly at best.
Let us continue to take the insults and abuses from the likes of Chief Iwuanyanwu and his Igbo travelers while Asiwaju and his team concentrate on an inauguration that will usher in a new dawn of unprecedented accomplishments across the country as he did in Lagos, which gave them the platform for their much-touted and overdramatized investments, towards a more perfect nation.
Odere is the Spokesperson, Tinubu/South-West Media Veterans Support Group