Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has advised Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, to undergo some tutelage under experienced cosmopolitan urbane intelligent monarchs.
Ohanaeze remarks followed reported statement, where Oba Akanbi was quoted to have said that the Igbo cannot be entrusted with the office of the Nigerian presidency.
Akanbi, who spoke through his chief press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, said, “No Nigerian will feel secure in the hands of a leader whose ethnic attachment deprived other Nigerians of their rights.
“(They are) preventing people from the other parts of the country from acquiring property in their domain. The style by the South easterners is barbaric.”
But reacting through its national publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, in a statement on Tuesday, the group said “Ohanaeze has profound respect for culture and traditional rulers. We will therefore restrain from hoisting the monarch with his own petard, rather, we advise that he undergo some tutelage under some more experienced cosmopolitan urbane intelligent monarchs such as his neighbour, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife.
“It is self-evident that Nigeria is a beleaguered country that urgently needs nation building; inflammatory and incendiary remarks from monarchs and the highly placed are antithetical to peace and unity of Nigeria.
“One of the qualities of a well-adjusted traditional ruler is to be open minded towards all, especially people of other ethnic groups that may be found in his domain.
“One of the reasons traditional rulers are insulated from partisan politics is to avoid an overdrive or the kind of overzealousness exhibited by Akanbi in an effort to retire a gift from his candidate for the presidency in 2023.
“The Igbo are adventurous nation builders; they are found in all parts of Nigeria and beyond.
“They make friends easily and also feel at home with their children in all parts of world. They quickly learn the language and culture of the host community with a view to contribute towards the socio-economic growth of the community.
“The people of other ethnic groups that had their National Service in Igbo land can always attest to the Igbo friendliness; some ended up marrying Igbo.”
He said the acclaim that Igbo people ‘have an obnoxious policy of depriving other Nigerians of their rights cannot be substantiated.’
Quoting him, “It is inconceivable that a group that builds modern houses in all parts of the country will prevent other ethnics from building in their homestead.
“One would think that the morbid fabrication of falsehood is a terrible mischief, only for the uninitiated.
“Oba Akanbi is drawn to his paradox where he acknowledged the damage done to the Igbo during the Nigerian Civil War and at the same time condemning the agitation by Igbo youth, such as the ESN, for their clamour for inclusiveness based on equity and justice after about 53 years of the Nigerian Civil War.”
He recalled that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo admonished that for peace to reign in Nigeria, ‘the South East should be given a sense of belonging by allowing them to produce a president for Nigeria.’
Ogbonnia also quoted the pesident general of the Afenifere as saying that by the rotation and zoning principle, “it is only fair that the South East be given a chance for the presidency.”
He called for equity instead of peddling falsehood, noting that, “Any country that glamourises injustice can never progress.”