- Members of the Igbo studenst association held a peaceful demonstration at the entrance of the Presidential Villa in Abuja
- The demonstration was to show that they are not in support of the push for Biafra
- The students pledged their unflinching support for President Muhammadu Buhari
Thousands of students from the Southeast part of the country under the auspices of Ohaneze Ndi’gbo Students Forum on Monday, March 20, stormed the streets of Abuja pledging their unalloyed loyalty to the unity of Nigerian.
Addressing the rally at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, President of Ohaneze Ndi’gbo Students Forum, Comrade Osisioma Osikenyi Igwe said Ndi’gbos made grave mistakes in the past, but are not prepared to repeat same mistakes.
He said Ndi’gbo students and youths have come to the inevitable conclusion to embrace change collectively.
Igwe urged Southeasterners, particularly, MASSOB and IPOB who are incensed about a Biafran republic to extinguish the idea, urging them to now devote their energies in working assiduously to support the APC-led government of President Buhari to place the region on pedestal to fully consummate the niceties of politics and governance at God’s appointed time.
He said: "We have chosen to become part of the change agents, by impressing on our people to sight the bright future Nigeria offers every ethnic nationality, most especially Igbo nation under the God-fearing and de-tribalized leader, President Buhari. We must bury our mundane thoughts that have tethered us to retrogressive sentiments for ages.
The students apologized to President Buhari, the national leadership of the APC and all stakeholders of the party for the embarrassment caused them by the threats of MASSOB and IPOB to disrupt the Pro-Buhari rally in Awka.
He said the students are confident that such misguided thoughts and utterances would never be heard from the Southeast anymore.
Igwe said people of Igbo extraction often lament marginalization and injustice, but hardly spare time to reflect and arrive at genuine, cogent measures to extricate themselves from these entanglements.
He said: "We are strangely happy in the euphoria of being blinded by our foibles. When we contemplate any remedy, it is usually half-baked and poorly articulated, manifest in the frequent retreat into our cocoons, with loud gospels of separatism. These wrong approaches have failed to give us solace, heal our wounds and cement ties with our Nigerian brothers to work for the prosperity of Nigeria.
He said, "in the years past, we have been misled and enslaved by our people, who exploited our innocence and complacence to market several unfounded and unprofitable sentiments, which poisoned our minds towards our beloved country, Nigeria. Sadly, no one can point to a single reward we’ve got from these wild adventures from our years of silence; our months of endurance and decades of antagonism.
"Over time too, we have silently watched elders of our land; our leaders indulge in excesses that have led us to wrong steps and decisions, which have disappointingly and continuously nurtured the passion of hate against us, as a race in Nigeria. It has rather expanded the frontiers of enmity between us and other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. We cannot continue in this manner and we have taken up the challenge to also lead the path for our elders to follow, because the future belongs to the youths"
He further said: "We want our Southeastern brothers and sisters to understand in unmistaken terms that Nigeria holds a lot of promise for Igbo nation than the delusion of a non-existent Biafran state. And luckily, the hour this realization has dawned on us has come at a time Nigeria is blessed with a good leader, President Buhari. His actions and utterances demonstrates a passion of love for every Nigerian, regardless of tribe, religion or political affiliation. The Igbos of Nigeria have no better time to have a resounding deal in Nigeria, outside of the Buhari Presidency.
He under President Buhari, Ndi’gbo students have seen and felt the impact of governance on security, roads construction/rehabilitation and so on
He said: "We now sleep with our two eyes closed and our parents now do business without the fear of dupes or molestation from criminal gangs. We therefore seize this rare opportunity to reiterate our pledge of loyalty to Mr. President and all constituted authorities in the country. We profoundly salute the security architecture of Nigeria for doing a good job of ridding the Southeast of criminal elements which suffocated people of the region."
He said: "We cannot deny that crime is very high in our land and we require the presence of the Nigerian Military, the Police and even the vigilante to secure us to transact our legitimate business and freely move about with our money. We need the tightest security in the Southeast, more than any part of Nigeria and we are happy President Buhari has proved that he can protect us from criminal vagabonds. We are glad he has complied with his oath of office in securing the lives and properties of Nigerians."