The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi has again accused the South-East of engaging in self-inflicted punishment in a united Nigeria.
This is as the monarch also called on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to sheath their sword and embrace one Nigeria.
The Iwo monarch, who was reacting to the response of Ohaneze Ndigbo to his earlier statement on why he would not support an Igbo presidency, demanded that the Pan Igbo group should tender an apology to the throne of the Oluwo.
The reason for the apology, Oba Akanbi explained, was because the conclusion of Ohaneze Ndigbo was hasty and unguarded vituperation.
Citing that no monarch felt the pains of Ndigbo like he did, he asked the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to read more about his activities before jumping to the media.
Maintaining that his message was to their advantage, the traditional ruler held that they should see it as such.
In his words, “I want to challenge the Igbos further to name a monarch outside the South-East who has ever dressed like an Igbo king? I remain an Oba and very committed to the unity and oneness of Nigeria. The Igbos should act more, talk more and do more about the unity of Nigeria instead of their vituperation against an unrepentant preacher and promoter of one Nigeria.
“I was the first monarch outside the South-East to visit Innoson manufacturing company owned by an Igbo man Innocent Chukwuma and the only Nigerian monarch using an Innoson vehicle, which I bought in January 2018. I went further to advertise and promote the made in Nigeria vehicle on highway billboards throughout the country on my personal expenses.”
Oba Akanbi, who lamented that he was surprised Ohanaeze Ndigbo could picture him as dividing Nigeria, added that he has cordial relationships with respected monarchs and personalities from the South-East.
While stressing that he never said Igbos can’t produce the president, he explained that there was a need for them to re-strategize.
“I appeal to IPOB to sheath their sword and embrace one Nigeria. Our diversity is a strength. We must be smart with it and convert it to an advantage. Achieving one Nigeria is a collective responsibility. I challenge Ohanaeze Ndigbo to take responsibility, and appeal to IPOB and ESN for a ceasefire. It is then that we will know we are all Nigerians in Nigeria and enjoy a better sense of belonging.
“The stakeholders in the zone should address their subjects to promote mutual coexistence. People should be allowed to go to work and transact business. Sit-at-home orders will do more harm to people’s means of survival. Secession is an abstract concept in modern Nigeria,” he added.
The Iwo monarch had in an earlier statement declared that he cannot trust any Southeasterner to be the President of Nigeria.
His stand is coming at a time the South-East is demanding a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, on the basis of equity.
He noted that the sit-at-home order issued by the members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) was not only inimical to their survival but also to the growth of the nation.