Foremost constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze on Sunday brokered peace between Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, at his Atani, Ogbaru local government area country home, arguing that there is a need for greater cooperation between the two bodies; so can work together for the betterment of the Igbo people.
Nwabueze, who had previously hosted a similar meeting between the two bodies in Enugu, observed that leaders could only have a meaningful impact if they carried their people along, adding that Igbo people could not be divided at this moment in Nigeria.
The Atani meeting, which was held behind closed doors, was attended by the Dr Nnia Nwodo, president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, emeritus dean of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev Maxwell Anikwenwa and Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to IPOB who represented the organization. Nwabueze, who briefed reporters after the meeting, emphasized the need for unity, adding that “we will not be united if followers are disenchanted with the leadership.”
Though he did not reveal full details, he told journalists that the meeting was productive and that IPOB asked for the federal government to retract its decision to proscribe it.
He also said that Ohaneze Ndigbo and other leaders of the zone resolved to hold another meeting with South East governors to put pressure on the federal government to de-proscribe IPOB. He said: “There is trouble in Nigeria. We do not know what will happen in the future because we are not prophets, but we can predict and we know there is a problem.
“We love Nigeria, but the leaders of the nation are not doing the right thing. We are not in control of anything in Nigeria. It is for this reason that we need to come together and be united. “We have no control of anything in Nigeria and if we lose control of ourselves, we are finished and we will not let it happen while we are still alive.”
According to him, the essence of the gathering was to make everyone understand the need for peace to reign among the people. “Their (IPOB) major worry was to get the federal government to lift its proscription order on them.