By Uche Amunike
Buhari Imo State visit: The Ohaneze Ndigbo World Youth Council Worldwide, OYC, Thursday condemned the act of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State linking Ndigbo to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state today.
Governor Uzodinma earlier disclosed that Nigeria’s President Buhari, apart from commissioning projects completed by him in the state, will meet with Igbo leaders in order to discuss issues affecting the zone.
The President General of the Ohaneze Youth Council Worldwide, OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, however referred to such comments as mere claims, saying that the claims made by Uzodinma were a big slight on Ndigbo, saying it was insulting for Governor Uzodinma to make a private visit to his state government look like a visit to Igboland by Buhari.
He went on to say that their group had wanted to be quiet over the noise being made about President Buhari’s visit to Imo state, but because of the prevailing circumstances, they were compelled to set the records straight by making it clear that President Muhammadu Buhari is not visiting Igboland today but rather, is coming to visit Governor Hope Uzodinma on a private visit that has nothing to do with the people of the South East.
He further stated that Ndigbo made no real or imaginary plans of meeting with Buhari in Imo state to discuss any issues whatsoever, giving the reason that at no point did Igbo leaders meet, where any decision for such a visit was taken, how much more agree on issues to be presented to Buhari.
Okwu further stated that Uzodinma was a number one enemy of Ndigbo for bluntly refusing to protect the Igbo people and yet hell-bent on supporting the implementation of open grazing of cattle, saying that he will never be a rallying point for Ndigbo.
He maintained that Uzodinma was on his own on the matter concerning the visit of Buhari and was not under any circumstance, representing the interest of Ndigbo, but was rather receiving him as his private guest which nobody will fault him for, as it was his right to do so.
He went on to say that any Igbo leader visiting Imo during the president’s visit will be seen as representing their own selfish interests and not the interest of Ndigbo, insisting that such a person will be regarded as an enemy of the people.
He posited that Ndigbo represented one of the major tripods under which Nigeria stands and as such, are not prepared to go cap-in-hand begging anyone for what was their due, including the 2023 presidency which in his words, was not negotiable.
The youth group expressed their anger at the manner in which the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, already made Buhari’s visit popular by declaring another sit-at-home in the entire Igboland, just because he was paying Governor Hope Uzodinma a visit in Imo state, saying that they have just helped Uzodinma to give the visit so much colour by declaring that the visit was for the entire Southeast.
A sit-at-home, they said, should have been limited to only Imo state, since that was where the president was visiting.
They warned that such a serious mistake should be avoided next time as it only succeeded in giving the visit undue popularity, Okwu concluded.