The president general of the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze Nd’Igbo, Chief John Nwodo, has declared that had the leader of the outlawed IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, heeded his warning, the case would have been different for the fleeing young Biafran agitator and his group.
“I told Kanu that war is not an option. I made that point clearly to him. I also told him to tone down his language. He should stop abusing the President of the Country and stop calling Nigeria a zoo. A zoo is where wild animals are kept. If you say Nigeria is a zoo, it then means that all of us are wild animals. Even if you don’t like the President as a person, you must respect the office he occupies. In Igboland, we respect our elders. We don’t abuse them in public no matter the level of difference. I told him to stop abusing our Governors. In particular, I told him to stop abusing the Imo State Governor by calling him Okoroawusa and questioning his paternity except you have the result of a DNA test which proved that his father didn’t give birth to him. By questioning his paternity, you are indirectly abusing our wives and mothers. That is unacceptable.”
“I told him to stop calling the President a paedophile. That is wrong and I won’t condone that. My own mum had her first child at the age of 13. In the olden days, once a girl attains puberty in Igboland, forms breast and starts menstruating, she is ripe for marriage. So, you are indirectly abusing the culture of our people.”
“Let’s sit down and talk with Abuja. If we form a common and united front, the Federal Government will listen to us.”
“Abusing the President will not give us Biafra. Abusing other tribes and calling them names will not give us Biafra. Telling Igbos to stop attending churches with Yoruba pastors will not give us Biafra. It will rather widen the gaps between us and these other people who themselves are victims of the injustices in Nigeria. It will annoy them and they will abandon us. We can’t push this alone. We need the support of our neighbors. By abusing and threatening others, you put the lives of our people who live there in danger.”
“I said all of these to him and he refused and kept going on and on. At a point, they started abusing me too. Calling me names. I was never offended. They are my children. That is burden of fatherhood and I am prepared to bear it.”
“Our people have a saying “what an elder sees sitting down, a young person cannot see standing up.”