THE Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, has made a strong call for the replacement of the pan-Igbo socio cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo with “new legitimate and purposeful political and socio-cultural leaderships.”
INTERSOCIETY also decried Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s recent outcry on marginalization of Igbos in the Nigerian Police Force as “grossly belated.”
In a statement released recently, INTERSOCIETY affirmed its stand, stating that it is “time to find a new legitimate socio-cultural organization to replace Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”
The statement reads: INTERSOCIETY is “calling on educated Igbo persons, and wise and conscientious others; drawn from middle class and class of noble elders to begin fresh moves to put in place a new legitimate and purposeful Socio-Cultural Organization that will congregate, aggregate, bind, lead and reposition the independently estimated 60m People of Igbo Nation presently found in Igbo Land and outside same including other parts of Nigeria, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Americas.”
Questioning the legitimacy and relevance of the apex pan socio cultural organisation to Igbo interests, INTERSOCIETY called on ”conscientious or moralist Igbo intellectuals resident in Diaspora including Americans, Germans, Britons and other Europeans of direct and indirect Igbo roots to liaise with their contemporaries back home so as to bring this epochal and immortal demand to fruition.”
Buttressing the call for immediate replacements, the civil rights organisation also took a swipe at other fora; such as the Southeast Govs Forum; expected to champion Igbo interests, stating: “it is saddening that the Southeast Govs Forum and Oha-na-Eze Ndigbo that are being looked upon by Igbos within and outside Nigeria as custodians of Igbo’s collective security, safety, dignity and welfare, have lost the legitimacy of their existence and become chronically selfish, incompetent and the mouthpiece of the ruling Caliphate in Nigeria; thereby making it compelling to find their immediate replacements.
Highlighting the current socio-political scenario as being witnessed in Nigeria and the position of the South East in the national equation, INTERSOCIETY described Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and the South East Governors Forum as “security threats from within.”
“It remains a height of security threat when a Nation-State is exposed to dangers by being systematically excluded or disproportionately represented in security recruitments, promotions and postings or appointments and more dangerous when those looked upon to checkmate same turned around and aided and abetted such extremist policy being promoted and sustained by the present Government of Nigeria.”
It said: “as a matter of fact, the present Oha-na-Eze Ndigbo and the Southeast Govs Forum have lost legitimacy to continue as the central socio-cultural and political mouthpiece of the Igbo Nation. Having lost collective respect and legitimacy of the People of Igbo Nation, they are only clinging on their present positions by force of arms, betrayal, deceit, selfishness, falsehood and propaganda.”
Commenting on the marginalization of Igbos particularly the recent promotions in the Nigerian Police Force which drew wide condemnation from Ohaneze and other South East interest groups, INTERSOCIETY called for a platform “for Igbo Nation, her citizens and territories to be effectively and adequately secured and protected where there are gross disproportional security and defense representations.”
The organisation cited various research reports on promotions in the Nigerian Police Force and other security organisations and remarked that “the Igbo senior police officers have now been fully eliminated from the Police AIG ranking and are facing similar fate in the rank of Police Commissioners. The number of serving Igbo CPs is steadily going down and fueled by deliberate refusal of the PSC and the NPF to elevate new ones.”
INTERSOCIETY reported further: “we also researched and exposed the continuation of same ethnic cleansing in the NPF, Army, Navy, Air Force, Intelligence and Paramilitary Agencies. Even when key military and policing formations in the old Eastern and Mid Western Nigeria were found to have been ‘northernized’ and ‘south-westernized’, we also statistically raised alarm, yet, the Southeast Govs Forum and Oha-na-Eze Ndigbo kept perpetual mute.”
“We have documented the unprovoked killing, torture, unlawful arrest and incarceration of innocent and defenseless Igbo citizens by Nigerian security forces and other criminal non state actors like Islamic Jihadists and Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. In these, it is same silence of the graveyard on the part of the duo.”
The civil rights organisation condemned the spate of injustices, abuse of human rights and even torture and incarceration which a lot of Igbo citizens are currently experiencing in various parts of the country which it said the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and South East Governors Forum have done little or nothing about.