- Rochas Okorocha notes that Igbos and Hausas used to be strong allies and the bond should be mended
- He urged all well-meaning Igbos and Hausas to dissociate themselves from inciting comments made by IPOB and Arewa groups
- He urged all leaders to teach their wards the right thing to do and advised Igbos to agitate for something economically productive instead
Igbo people have been warned by the governor of Imo state Rochas Okorocha not to support the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to reports, Okorocha advised his kinsmen to fix the “bridge of relationship” with northerners.
Taking a swipe at the pro-biafra group, Okorocha said: “I do know that when the chips are down, they (IPOB) won’t be anywhere to be found.”
The governor made his comments in a statement issued on his behalf by his chief press secretary Sam Onwuemeodo.
In the statement, Okorocha admitted that the quit notice issued to Igbos living in the north by the Coalition of Northern Youths could cause disaffection between northerners and their south east counterparts.
He said: “While I blame the Arewa youths who may have acted under provocation and taking the matter beyond scope, the statements were also very inciting and can create disaffection between the north and south-east.
“For the purpose of those who have forgotten, in history, the south-east and north have enjoyed a good political relationship, especially in the days of Shagari.
“We have been seen as allies and partners politically.
“Except for this past dispensation, for some myopic reasons many Igbo did not see the victory of Buhari coming and we missed the link.
“We need immediate re-fixing of this bridge of relationship between the south-east and the north.
“I call on all Igbo persons to dissociate themselves and every northerner and well-meaning Nigerians to distance themselves from these comments from Arewa group and IPOB.
“Again, let me caution those who are calling for support for IPOB, especially the non-Igbo, to stop henceforth.
“It is deceitful and inciting and is no longer a welcome development in this part of the world.”
Okorocha urged Nigerian leaders “to speak out and condemn this act because silence cannot help us in this matter”.
He stated: “Leaders ought to take responsibilities now and teach our youths the right things to do. “The people in this matter are our children; our youth and they have a duty to listen to us as their parents.
“It is apparent that we have failed as leaders in this nation, giving room for this hate in families, communities, states and at national levels.
“We need to take responsibilities as leaders to stop this campaign of hate as that will not do us any good.
“I call on my Igbo brothers, the agitators because there is nothing wrong in doing what others are doing, your style is what is wrong.
“You can’t be calling for a sovereign nation inside a nation, it is absolutely wrong.
“If you must agitate, I propose you agitate for the Movement for Economic Survival of Igbo People (MOESIP). That will help for the economic survival of our land, making agriculture the mainstay of our economy. That is only when we will command the respect of the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Indigenous People of Biafra disagreed with the Imo state governor Rochas Okorocha that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu insulted elders from the South-East.
IPOB said the governor's remark lacks truth in it.
A statement by the group's spokesperson Emma Powerful, said the IPOB totally disagreed with Okorcha on the matter.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video asking if Biafra is achievable.