The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged the traditional ruler of Onitcha Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, HRM Obi Christopher Uzu Diji, and the kingmakers of the community to caution the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie.
Ohanaeze’s call followed Mrs. Onochie’s response to the appeal by Igbo traditional rulers and religious leaders for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Mrs. Onochie had, in a statement last weekend, listed some reasons why the President would not heed the appeal.
She condemned Kanu and the violence his organisation unleashed on the society.
According to her, the call for the release of Kanu is to spit on the graves of Dr. Chike Akunyili, Dr. Lawrence Ezenwa, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, slain traditional rulers, students, virgins, among others. Mrs. Onochie said the Igbo were still carrying about “a post-Nigeria Civil war grudge” that even their youths were expanding to President Buhari.
In a statement yesterday in Enugu by its spokesman Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze called the attention of the women wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo said: “Lauretta Onochie is from Onitcha Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. The traditional ruler of her community is HRM Obi Christopher Uzu Diji. Onochie knows the reverence and honour that go with the titled men and traditional rulers in all the Igbo communities.
“Also, as a Christian, Onochie knows that the clergy are the representatives of God here on earth. Therefore, a letter jointly signed by the Igbo traditional rulers and the Archbishops should command the respect of even the most unscrupulous.
“For Lauretta Onochie to use such uncouth words as ‘neonates’, ‘ignorant’, ‘lack of sense of decency’, ‘hide face in shame’, ‘stupidity’, etc, in reference to the revered traditional rulers and the Archbishops is, to say the least, unreflective, odious, warped, despicable and sacrilegious.
“The obnoxious role of denigrating one’s kinsmen to be fully ingratiated and assimilated in the other group is as old as mankind. However, the entrepreneurs of betrayal have never ended well…”
But Mrs. Onochie yesterday described the report that Ohanaeze Ndigbo reported her to the traditional ruler of her domain as fake news.
Speaking with The Nation last night in Abuja, she said: “It’s all fake news. Assuming it’s true, I am over eighteen years old. Is it my traditional ruler that will tell me what to do or what to say? But I believe it’s the fake Ohanaeze Ndigbo. It’s not worth your ink. The real Ohanaeze Ndigbo is registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). Let these ones produce their certificates.
“I didn’t even see what they wrote; I’ve just seen it and I haven’t read it. But I won’t respond because I have seen it’s not Ohanaeze Ndigbo. I won’t respond to a fake organisation posturing as Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”
“The letter of Appeal to the President by the Council of Traditional Rulers and the Archbishops is strong enough to attract the attention of Mr. President for a discussion with Igbo leaders on the way forward about Nnamdi Kanu and other security challenges in the Southeast.
“The claim by Onochie that Igbos hate President Buhari is both mischievous and malicious. The Igbo, by their character are faithful, audacious and cosmopolitan. In other words, they relate freely with everybody. The demands on the presidency for a better condition for the Igbo cannot be construed as hatred.
“The warm reception accorded to Mr. President during his visit to Owerri, Imo State, by Igbo dignitaries from all walks of life is a testimony to the Igbo willingness to work with Mr. President. What the Igbo want are very specific and the solutions are within the powers of Mr. President.
“It is unfortunate that Onochie believes that the Igbo have orchestrated their self-marginalisation in Nigerian politics. Any student of history will readily know that no condition is permanent.
“If the Igbo, like the mythical Phoenix, have resurrected from the ashes and clinched the Nigerian echelon, the Onochies of this world should know that the world does not end in her position as a Special Assistant to Mr. President…”