Xenophobic attacks: Ohaneze tasks South East governors on returnees

September 10, 2019
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The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Tuesday appealed to South East governors to make provision to receive Igbos repatriated from South Africa.

The body said that the governors should take steps to make life less stressful for Nigerians of Igbo extraction willing to return to the country from South Africa.

President of Ohaneze, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja Mr. Odozi Nwodozi, made the appeal at a press conference to flag off preparation for 2019 Igbo Day celebration in Abuja.

The Ohaneze chieftain who said that it was imperative for South East governors to brace up to receive the returnees from South Africa noted that the gesture would encourage other Nigerians to leave the former Apartheid enclave.

Nwodozi noted that it was clear that majority of those to be repatriated from South Africa were Nigerians of Igbo extraction.

He added that the Federal Government should also be up and doing to take care of the returnees.

He noted that it was a sad commentary that South Africans should ask fellow Africans to leave their country.

Nigeria, he recalled, was a front line state during the struggle to liberate South Africa from the strangle hold of Apartheid regime.

He also recalled that a former South African President, Nelson Mandela, was at a time harboured by a first Republic Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi in Igbo land.

He said, “First of all on the sad event taking place in South Africa, it is not only a blight on South Africa but it is also a shame to the entirety of Africa, knowing the role that Nigeria played in the liberation of South Africa.

“Nigeria was a frontline State in that struggle. Nigeria in the 70s took responsibility in not only nurturing but empowering those that are today, leaders in South Africa.

“I am also aware that Nelson Mandela in the heydays of his struggle was quartered in Igbo land, precisely in the house of the one we call the boy is good, Chief Mbazurike Amaechi, the only surviving minister of the first republic.

“For South Africans to at this stage start behaving the way they are doing, is quite unfortunate.

“However, with the return of our brothers and sisters, Ohaneze is not empowered economically to assist but I am sure the states and the federal government must have done things to make sure that those people coming back don’t feel the effect of their unexpected disengagement from South Africa.

“So on the issue of xenophobia attack, the South East governors must put things on the ground to assist those returning from South Africa, the bulk of who are Igbo people. “We call on them to use this opportunity to put infrastructure that will cushion the effect of their unplanned dislocation from South Africa.

On the attack on former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu in Germany he said:

“I must start by saying that we are all Biafrans in spirit by the mere fact that we are born Igbo. However, we must put what we are doing into contemporary times and perspectives.

“We must know that there is a culture of respect for elders, it is a taboo in the Igbo land for a child to beat his father. The Nuremberg experience was shameful.

“We must give honour to our elders but if our elder makes mistake we should not come to the market square to insult our elders. We have a way of telling our elders, you have not done it right.

“Therefore, this year’s Igbo Day is not an avenue to molest anybody. Anybody, be they politicians or public servants, they are all welcome to the ceremonies of this year’s Igbo Day.

“I’m sure our brothers that were involved in that unfortunate Nuremberg experience have come to the reality that they made a mistake and I am telling you they are forgiven.”

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