The Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has said it is planning to organise a peace summit to discuss ways of addressing insecurity in the country and the South East especially.
The council said this in a communiqué issued by its Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Friday in Abuja.
The communique was issued at the end of its meeting.
The council also called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, unconditionally.
It said: “The council took a decision on the need to have a peace summit. It goes with the desire that Nnamdi Kanu should be released.
“We want to dialogue with his participation in order to have an enduring peace in Nigeria, particularly in the South East.
“The council therefore called on the Federal Government and all persons concerned to release Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally. He cannot be in the prison while such crucial summit is being held.”
Iwuanyanwu added that the security situation in the country called for concern, saying that the council was particularly worried how the situation had worsened in the South East.
Iwuanyanwu noted that lives were being lost, innocent blood shed, while properties and government institutions were being destroyed.
He said: “Moreover both State and Federal Government are deploying huge financial resources in fighting a meaningless war instead of providing infrastructure, education and healthcare.
“Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide has therefore insisted that enough is enough.
“We must have a peace summit where we will get all the stakeholders including the agitators and youths together to chart a new course that can enthrone enduring peace.”
Iwuanyanwu expressed concern that most people in the region were unemployed including graduates, adding that any government policy on employment without first ensuring security of the nation would amount to nothing.
He added that the council as part of its efforts in curbing unemployment had agreed to tackle the problem in the moribund Niger Cement Company.
Iwuanyanwu said the company had the capacity to address to a large extent the unemployment in the South East.
He said: “An Okwesilieze Nwodo-led committee has been set up to mediate between the landlord which is the Ebonyi State Government and the investors to ensure a possible reactivation of the factory in 2023.
“We have also decided to revisit Coal-Mining activities in the zone. We are encouraging our business leaders to exploit the possibility of reactivating the Coal Mining. This will create jobs and also increase the nation’s GDP.
“On the area of culture, the council has also agreed to approach the State Governments to reactivate cultural and school competitions within the states with inter-state finals holding at Enugu.”
He said the council was also in touch with a lot of African-Americans in the United States who wanted to reconnect with their roots.
Iwuanyanwu said that the council had agreed to discuss with state governors in the region to provide a village for their resettlement because they were prepared to come over to develop the region.
On the secession of Ndigbo, Iwuanyanwu said: “We have noticed with dismay that people still use the threat of secession against the interest of the zone. The Igbos have invested in virtually every locality in Nigeria in areas of business, services, and building properties.
“So the talk of secession is peddled without honesty, however Ndigbo is only interested in fairness and equity. When a government or group deny us opportunities which are ours, including political and employment opportunities, we cannot be happy.”
Iwuanyanwu formally announced, according to the tradition and custom of Ndigbo, the passage of Prof. George Obiozor, the President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Worldwide
He said: “Today marks the beginning of the formal mourning by the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“This council will set up a strong delegation including top government officials who are members, captains of industries. Our members who are in the academia, religious and traditional institutions amongst others will represent us in the burial.”
He said the council also deliberated on the death and funeral of its leader, Chief Mbazulike Amechi (Dara Akunwafor), saying he ensured that peace returned to the country and Igboland in particular.
According to the communiqué, the meeting was attended by Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chief Achike Udenwa, Prof. Tim Menakaya, Senator Ben Obi, Cletus Ilomuanya, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, Ambassador Eddy Onuoha and Senator Julius Ucha among others.