Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has taken up the Chairman of the Ohanaeze Council of Elders, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, over his comment at a function in Awka, the Imo State capital.
At the function to mark Governor Charles Soludo’s first year in office, he referred to Yoruba politicians as “rascals”.
Reacting to the statement by Iwuanyanwu, Afenifere demanded for explanation from Ohanaeze Ndigbo on it.
In a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Abagun Kole Omololu, Afenifere said: “In the past few hours, Afenifere has been inundated with complaints by several Yoruba sons and daughters from all over the world regarding the comment made by the Chairman of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Council of Elders, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. Their complaints were that at an event in Awka, Anambra State, on Saturday, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu made a comment ridiculing the Yoruba race.
“We have since reviewed the video recording of the event and our leadership will be reaching out to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to seek clarification on why Chief Iwuanyanwu made the comment and whether his view is a reflection of what Ohanaeze Ndigbo indeed think of the Yorubas.
“We hereby call on Ohaneze to warn the Chief not to insult the Yoruba. We are a proud nation. We are a hospitable race. All these should not be interpreted to mean weakness. In fact, it is a sign of being civilized. Enough of the provocation.
“In line with the Yoruba ethos of Omoluabi, (good upbringing) we are hereby urging all Yorubas, and indeed all Nigerians, to remain calm and continue to show love to their Igbo compatriots and members of other ethnic nationalities. We are one people under one nation and one God. The Yorubas have a long history of association and partnership with our Igbo brothers and sisters. Our diversity is one of Nigeria’s strengths in the comity of nations and we should not allow politics, religion , ethnicity or anything else to divide us.
“We urge all Yorubas to continue to relate well with all other ethnic groups in Nigeria and abroad. Our common humanity is more important than the divisive antics or careless remarks of any individual or group. The Yorubas are known worldwide as promoters of peace, unity and orderliness. We should hold on strongly to those virtues in the interest of peace, progress and prosperity in Nigeria and the world.”