The All Progressives Congress, APC, Southeast zone, has told the youth wing of the Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, that the party is Pan-Nigeria and not anti-Igbo.
In a statement by its zonal spokesman, Osita Okechukwu, the party said its goal was the welfare and security of every Nigerian, irrespective of where they hailed from.
The statement said APC would build an egalitarian society where everybody would excel and showcase his or her talent.
The party was reacting to the threat by Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s youth wing that it would consider the main opposition party ‘anti-Igbo’ if it does not apologize to the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd), for alluding to the Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis’ allegation that Ihejirika is one of the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect.
But APC said: “For the avoidance of doubt, what our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, called for was for President Goodluck Jonathan to invite the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICC) to investigate and prosecute (former Borno State governor) Ali Modu Sherif and Lt-Gen. Ihejirika, consequent upon the allegation levelled by the Federal Government negotiator, Dr Stephen Davis, against them. Nigeria is a signatory to the ICC and it seems Boko Haram has overwhelmed Mr President”.
The statement added: “APC, in league with other Nigerian patriots, is of the candid view that unravelling the masterminds, sponsors, allies and sympathisers of the monster called Boko Haram is a sure bet to stamping out insurgency from the land.
“This is what our great party is patriotically demanding. We sincerely reassure Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing that we mean well. We have no apology to tender to anybody.
“APC, in the best tradition of democracy, is requesting President Goodluck Jonathan to use his good offices to invite the ICC to investigate and prosecute Senator Sherif, Gen. Ihejirika or any other person found culpable.
“It needs be stated that the Federal Government, more than a week after Dr Davis’s startling allegation, has neither made a rebuttal statement nor dismissed the Australian.
“Mrs Marilyn Ogar is spokesperson for the Department of State Services (DSS). She is not Dr Reuben Abati or Mr Labaran Maku, presidential spokesman and Federal Government spokesman. To say that her statements recently are more or less unprofessional and less than transparent is a thought for food for Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths and their co-travellers.
“Consequently, Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s youth leadership needs to be reminded of the old Igbo maxim that ‘you do not throw a stone into the market; for the stone may hit your mother or father’. The Ndigbo are spread all over Nigeria and so is APC membership. So, we must sing the Nigerian song not ethno-sectarian song.
“Therefore, we candidly do not see anything wrong in Mr President, who agreed that Boko Haram has penetrated his Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and under whose watch rascals are hoisting irrendist flags, formally requesting the ICC to intervene as the Boko Haram insurgency is a matter of urgent national importance.
“Let’s ask: Have Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths ever asked President Jonathan why our dear brother, Gen. Ihejirika, was sacked in controversial circumstances in January 2014? It is an issue for another day. But suffice it to say that the Ndigbo are second in population to indigenes of Lagos, Kano and 25 other states; they are the first in five states and have good presence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), meaning that if there were peace and prosperity in Nigeria, we are one of the greatest beneficiaries, given the law of proportion.
“APC does not need sanction or threat from any quarter. It is those who, despite the huge federal defence budget that underfund our military, under-equip our military and under-motivate our military that are anti-Igbo and anti-Nigeria; not APC.
“In sum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo youths should be reticent, careful and diligent to avoid unwittingly putting all our eggs in one basket, hence joining the Ndigbo ‘chop-sand’ band of politicians, whose only interest is like that of she-goat: the advancement of the nuclear family and no other goat.”