Igbo leaders have frowned against the intimidation meted out against Ndigbo across northern Nigeria, saying that the humility and non-aggressive nature of their people should not be interpreted as acts of cowardice.
Speaking on Sunday at a press briefing in Jos, the Plateau State capital to mark the Igbo Day celebration, the President General of the Igbo Community Association (ICA), Mr Innocent Asogwa, also stated that ‘Ndigbo’ should be given favorable atmosphere to continue to carryout their lawful businesses.
He said, “Ndigbo in Plateau State as law abiding citizens should be given favourable atmosphere to continue to carryout their lawful businesses and to participate in the development of the state.
“The lives and properties of Ndigbo must be guaranteed and defended by security agents against all forms of unwarranted and unprovoked threats and aggression: the humility and non-aggressive nature of our people should not be interpreted as acts of cowardice; our people should not be provoked or molested any further.
Asogwa added that the ICA has vowed to resist further killing and destruction of Igbo properties in the state, saying that the Igbo in Plateau had lost several members and properties worth billions of naira without any form of provocation since violence erupted in the state.
He said, ” Anytime there is crisis in the state, our people are always at the receiving end: and in all these crisis our people often have nothing to do with it.
“Our members have been killed and properties destroyed in the past and we will no longer tolerate that: We have always suffered 80 percent loss in Plateau once there is a breakdown of law and order and we have vowed to defend ourselves because we are not cowards.
“The lives and properties of Ndigbo in Plateau State must be guaranteed and defended by security agents against all forms of unwarranted and unprovoked threats and aggression”.
Urging all members to remain peaceful and cooperate with their host communities and other ethnic nationalities, the ICA President call on the Igbo community to go about with their lawful and legitimate businesses and to desist from any act or business that are prohibited by law and other regulations which will tarnish the image of Ndigbo.”
Our correspondent reports that the compulsory mandate to all Igbo traders to lock up their shops and attend the celebration (Igbo Day 2017) at Stadium, was well observed.
By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos