Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has debunked a report that over 100 Northerners were killed in the South East.
In a press statement issued over the weekend by its group’s National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, the Ohanaeze asked the media outfit which published the report to show proof.
The group also urged security agencies to arrest those behind the publication.
The statement read, “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to the front page report by the Trust Newspaper of Friday, December 16, 2022, to the effect that the ‘Coordinator of the Northern Consensus Forum, Dr Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu’ and others have ‘directed commodity traders and truck drivers to shun the South East of Nigeria over incessant killings of their members by members of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB)’, adding that ‘they have declared 3 days warning strike due to the constant killing of the northerners in the South East’.
“The most disturbing part of the report is that ‘not less than 100 northerners were murdered in the South East within last week. In the first place, it is a lie from the pit of hell that “not less than 100 northerners were murdered in the South East within last week.
“Second: the said Dr. Aliyu has not been in the picture among the Northern leaders resident in the South East and as such is not in a position to speak on the relationship between the Northerners and the people of the South East.
“Third: one begins to imagine the very intendment of the purveyor of such a false, mendacious and devilish alarm that “not less than 100 northerners have been killed in the South East within last week.
“Four: an introspection will reveal the damage caused to the image of Nigeria among the committee of nations that 100 persons are killed in one week.
“Five: apart from the negative image of Nigeria, such an unverified front page report is a breach of the duties and civic responsibilities expected of a national daily such as the Daily Trust.
“Six: investigative journalism suggests that both the number of persons killed and the locations where they were killed should have been indicated in the report by the Daily Trust.
“Seven: unfortunately, Aliyu has inadvertently reduced the worth of a Nigerian to that of a chicken that could be slaughtered in hundreds within a week.
“Eight: the onus lies on Aliyu to locate the corpses of the said 100 persons.
Nine: Evidently, a such false alarm is a security threat capable of causing pandemonium across the country. Ten: Going further, is there any other group, among the diverse groups in Nigeria that have come up with a claim of killings by the IPOB?
“And many more questions that ordinarily will compel the security agents to interrogate the said Coordinator of the Northern Consensus Forum, Dr Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu and adequate measures taken to serve as a deterrent to other alarmists.”
Ohanaeze noted that there had been unrest in the South East just as other parts of the country are also experiencing restiveness, but said it would be unfair to make unfounded claims using it as an excuse.
Ohanaeze further claimed that the publication was politically motivated and possibly targeted against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, who is gaining popularity and acceptance across the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the alarmist publication in question is politically motivated to create mistrust between the North and the South.
“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor lays no pretensions to the insecurity in the South East of Nigeria but frowns at any form of mischief that incites the North against the South East,” the statement said.