…As Governor Wike says there cannot be Nigeria without Ndigbo
By Peter Okutu
THE Chairman of South East Governor’s Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi last Sunday led a delegation of Ndigbo to Rivers State to find out what transpired in Oyigbo community and how best those affected can live peacefully in the State.
In an opening remark, Governor Umahi said; “We are here to interact with you. We saw a number of things in the social media about Igbo in Obigbo and as leaders, we put heads together and requested to meet with Governor Wike.
“The first thing we want to do is to ask our people, Ndigbo in Rivers State, are the things we are seeing in the social media true, we will want you to address us.
Reacting, the spokesperson and Eze Ndigbo in Rivers and Bayelsa, Eze Maduagu Ajaele and Lady Regina Uwakwe noted that Igbo have been living peacefully in Rivers State as Governor Nyesom Wike has always carried the Igbo along.
“Under the administration of Governor Wike, the Igbo have thrived in the state. Also, the Igbo have contributed to the development of the state in many ways. Most edifices in port Harcourt are owned by the Igbo and other people.
“Wike has made an Igboman, Hon. Emeka Onowu, a commissioner for two times now.
“We therefore plead with our leaders who have come to know the truth to please advise our people, our Igbo brothers and sisters here in Rivers State to be careful and not to be involved in anything that will constitute an abuse to the hospitality of the host communities.
In response, Governor Wike said; “nobody should give Igbo people a bad name, there cannot be Nigeria without the Igbos, they are entrepreneurs. We don’t have any problem with Ndigbo. Rivers state is a place that accommodates everybody and we must continue to accommodate everyone. I cannot kill Igbos, if you kill Igbos, you kill Nigeria.
“Southeast people have very intelligent people that can be anything in this country. Rivers State will never fight Ndigbo.
“I have continually appointed Igbos into my Executive council chambers. I have a two term commissioner in my EXCO from Igbo.
“Let me tell you, he who kills will also die.
Governor Umahi in a swift reaction urged the Governor of Rivers State to extend his caring hands to Civilians in Rivers State whose families members were killed by hoodlums attack that occurred as a result of the hijacked #EndSARS protest that occurred recently across the country. “we must start thinking home. We like infrastructures, we like good roads, we like development and we don’t need go slow.
“Please, bring some of your investment back home.
“I am urging the Rivers State Governor, as you are taking care of the families of the security agencies who were killed during the #EndSARS Protest that was hijacked by hoodlums, since south east is also taking care of the families of the security agencies, please, add that of the civilians.”
Governor Umahi further called on Igbos to shun inciting statements and acts that could further plunge the region into another civil war with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
Governor Umahi after listening to Governor Wike’s narrative on the recent disturbances that culminated in the imposition of curfew in Oyigbo local government area warned Igbos to be wary of forces bent on instigating another civil war as such development would result in the murder of Igbo people who are the most populated ethnic group in Nigeria.
Umahi said he found it disturbing that some IPOB agitators could go to Benue and Rivers states to foist its flag and claim the territories belong to Igbo people.
He urged Igbos living in the state to respect the Government and people of Rivers State in order for them to continue to live and do business in the state peacefully, stressing that Ndigbo cannot support any form of criminality.
He further disclosed that the Igbo delegation will be visiting Lagos, Kano and FCT.
Also speaking, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said the meeting has reinforced the existing affinity between Igbos and the people of Niger Delta.
He explained that the leadership of Igbos cannot remain aloof while some misguided few who did not experience the brutal reality of the last civil war continue to fan the embers of disunity.
Among the delegations are; Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu; Anambra State Governor represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke; President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Mrs. Josephine Anini representing the Igbo women leaders.