Nigeria: How Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu Dominated Igbo Leaders' Discussion in Enugu
By Anayo Okoli and Dennis Agbo
5th July 2017
Enugu — Though the resolution of Igbo leaders meeting in Enugu, made public on Sunday, failed to mention names such as the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu or Biafra agitation, South East Voice can authoritatively report that the issue of separatist agitation among Igbo youths dominated much of the discussion that lasted from Saturday night to early Sunday morning.
Some participants in the closed door meeting, who preferred anonymity, revealed that the issue of the separatist agitation, particularly Nnamdi Kanu, was discussed extensively. Lending credence to the discussion of Biafra agitation, Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Chief David Umahi, in his preamble address at the meeting noted that the issue of Nnamdi Kanu and separatist agitation would form a major point of discussion at the meeting.
Governor Umahi in the address admitted that the current socio-political trauma convulsing the landscape, particularly the separatist agitations of some Igbo youths was something that has been exercising the minds of South East Governors. Umahi said "Whilst we recognise quite rightly that each and every zone in the country is challenged by one form of youth restiveness or the other, we are particularly concerned because of the crude dimensions that things are veering. We will continue to seek avenues of positive resolution in order to avert bringing pointless doom upon our great land."
Umahi expressed gratitude to governors of the zone, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other distinguished Igbo icons who worked both openly and behind the scene to secure the release of Nnamdi Kanu.
"However, part of the central issues we must consider today is the manner in which the group led by Nnamdi Kanu has gone about its agitation. It's an agenda point which I believe will dovetail into the equally sizzling topic of the moment-restructuring... one of the vexing questions we must begin to tackle with urgency is the matter of separatist agitations. It is my humble submission that we must tonight set up a committee with a wide-ranging remit to engage our restive youths and make a recommendation to Ndigbo that will form basis of a resolution of the crisis," said Governor Umahi.
The Ebonyi governor who chaired the meeting based on his position as the chairman of South East Governors Forum also reflected on the dying Igbo traditions and culture and urged Igbo leaders of repute to thinker towards restoring the fading Igbo values. Those in attendance at the meeting included the five governors of South East States, all members of the National Assembly from the zone led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Chairman of South East Caucus of the members of the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
Others were President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, former Governor of the Central Bank, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, Senator Sam Egwu, Chief Chekwas Okorie, Prof Barth Nnaji, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, former Inspector General of Police, Ogbonnaya Onovo, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, and Senator Gill Nnaji. The list also included the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Prof Godfrey Onah, the Enugu Archbishop of Anglican Communion, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Chairman of South East Traditional Rulers Council.