President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, yesterday, told the British Deputy High Commissioner, Peter Thomas, that rising violence in the South East was due to the attention Igbo quest for the 2023 presidency has generated.
Obiozor, who expressed sadness over the killings and burning of police stations and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices, stated that people of the South East were not known for violence but believed in hard work.
He told Thomas, who visited the Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu that the crisis notwithstanding, Ndigbo were united in the quest for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Lamenting how insecurity was ravaging the region, he said the Igbo were the most exemplary in peace and security as well as the most organised with a vigorous grassroots economic activity until most recently, adding that the Igbo “are a unique set of people in terms of hard work, ingenuity, perseverance and inventiveness.”
Explaining that the people of the zone struggle to get whatever they were denied by themselves, he lamented that the recent violence in the zone was giving the Igbo a bad name.
Although he agreed that the nucleus of agitations in the country was in the southeast region, he however stressed the need for restructuring of Nigeria to reflect true federalism.
He stressed that Nigeria owes equity and justice to the South East and that the Igbos are the most federating group of people in Nigeria and commended the British government for the cordial relationship between it and the country.
Obiozor reminded the British diplomat that of all the countries in Europe, the British are the most involved in the affairs of Nigeria and commended the various interventions of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria, while hoping that they would not be discouraged by the current wave of violence in Nigeria.
“Deputy High Commissioner, Thomas had earlier stated that the essence of his visit was to find out from the Igbo Leader why the South East had suddenly become violent.
MEANWHILE, yesterday’s sporadic shootings in Iwollo Community, Ezeagu Council of Enugu State, claimed four police officers and the Iwollo Police Division.
The Guardian learnt that armed men, who arrived about 4:00a.m and found that the police station was locked, scaled the walls to access the place and opened fire on the station.
They shot four policemen on duty, freed detainees before setting the two buildings in the police station ablaze, and razed the buildings, motorcycles and a commuter bus parked in the station.