A pan Igbo group, the New Igbo Movement has said that the demand by the All Progressives Congress (APC), that former Borno State governor Ali Modu Sheriff and former Chief of Army Staff General Azubuike Ihejirika be probed for alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram is not anti-Igbo as claimed by Ohaneze Youth.
The group in a statement by its secretary, Nobert Ezekwechi, said it views the threat by Ohaneze Youth as not only misguided, but an attempt to trivialize the objective of Ohaneze and commercialise its platform and abandon it as a partisan wreck.
Ohaneze Youth had yesterday given APC 48 hours to apologies to Ihejirika for calling on the federal government to refer him and Sheriff to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial of the allegations by Australian Negotiator Stephen Dabis, failure of which the party shall be branded an anti-Igbo-Party.
But the New Igbo Movement says it sees nothing wrong in the demand by the APC, adding that the former COAS must speak fr himself.
The statement reads:
Our organisation has taken a deep analysis of the threat by Ohaneze Youth to label a political party, All progressives Congress (APC) anti-Igbo because it called for the prosecution of General Azubuike Ihejirika and company for Chief of Army Staff based on his indictment by an Australian negotiator Mr Stephen Davis, and view it as not only misguided, but an attempt to trivialize the objective of Ohaneze and commercialise its platform and abandon it as a partisan wreck.
How many Igbo criminals involved in kidnapping or other crimes have the so- called Ohaneze Youth stood up in defence of, even when they are facing jungle justice, through the demolition of their houses by Northern Police Commissioners , with the active support and approval of an unelected governors in South East Nigeria.
The offence for which Ihejirika is accused is a serious one, and if found culpable ought to represent a source of disappointment for Ndigbo, because he neither discussed with Ndigbo, nor secured their mandate to sponsor Boko Haram.
It would therefore not be proper to expect a people whose culture speaks firmly against fighting a fight of blame to come out and defend the indefensible criminal action of one individual.
Besides, prosecution does not mean guilt. The process of prosecution will establish whether the accused is guilty or innocent of the accusation through the mill of the due process, and therefore there cannot be anything wrong with or anti-Igbo about this call to justice in line with an existing indictment.
It is instructive that Ihejirika was not the only one indicted and was not the only one which Nigerians individuals and groups including the All Progressives Congress (APC), want prosecuted. A former Governor of rampaged Borno State, a Kanuri from Borno State Senator Ahmadu Sheriff is equally indicted and was among those sought to be executed.
We therefore urge those under the payroll of General Ihejirika to go ahead and sing his chorus without using the Ohaneze platform, which ought to remain a non-partisan platform binding the entire Igbo race ,let alone making empty threats to blacklist a political party for doing the right thing.
In addition we need to warn that should cash and carry position statements such as the one signed by one Emmanuel Nnabuike and Obinna Adibe as Secretary and Publicity Secretary respectively continue unabated, it would not be long before Ohaneze Youth and the entire Ohaneze will lose their voice in serious matters concerning the advancement of the common good of Ndigbo.
Ihejirika must rise and defend himself against the grave charges before him and succeed on the strength of his defence or fail on it weakness.
The Ohaneze platform is not for sale or an avenue to cover up those who allegedly committed to grave crimes against humanity and betrayed National trust, for an undisclosed price, and Ndigbo must rise in condemnation of this costly digression.
Secretary New Igbo Movement