The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has expressed sadness over the continued bloodshed in the South-East, calling for an end to the crisis in the region.
The octogenarian said he felt diminished each time a life was lost to the violence in the region, saying he would lay down his life if that would bring an end to the chaos.
The Ohanaeze President General spoke on Saturday night while addressing journalists on the 2023 Igbo Day celebration coming up on September 28 and 29 with the church service held on Sunday at the Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd, Enugu.
He said, “I’ll take a kinetic approach that will require the cooperation of everybody. I’ll talk peace. I am ready to lay down my life to see that there is peace in Igboland.
“I’ll go to Finland and everywhere to see that there is peace in Igboland. I’ll go and cry to them. I pray to God that I achieve success.
“I have decided that as a father, I am tired of the death of my children. Ndigbo has given me the responsibility of leading them at this time. Each time I hear anybody killed I feel very sad.”
According to Iwuanyanwu, the crisis in the South-East can also be linked to unemployment and hunger. He called on the government to ensure economic opportunities for the youth.
He said, “I feel very sad too because those of them who are joining whatever it is are doing it because some of them are hungry. Some of them are unemployed. I am not saying that hunger and unemployment should make somebody become a criminal but not everyone has the capacity to endure hardship or hunger.
“It is good for the Federal Government to have peace in the South-East. It won’t pay them to have bloodshed; because, you see, bloodshed doesn’t pay anybody. So whatever sacrifices they make to bring the non-kinetic approach which stops killings and bloodshed will be useful and that is what I want to do.”
He urged the Federal Government to empower his people, saying, “We are not looking for guns but opportunities for our people. We are not looking for palliative but opportunities to aspire and fend for ourselves.
“We want European airlines to be coming to the South-East. They should improve the rail lines to link Ndigbo to other states in Nigeria.”