After the directive by Movement for the Actualization of the Soveriegn State of Biafra (MASSOB) for Igbos in the North to return to their ancestral homes on the allegation that Boko Haram specifically targeted people from Eastern Nigeria for attacks, most of the Igbo businessmen in Kano have refused to relocate citing conducive business environment in the city.
The Economic Confidential was in Kano where it met with some Igbo leaders who disassociate themselves from the campaign by of community by the Ohaneze Indigbo of Kano. Craving anonymity to avoid creating disaffection among Igbo community in Kano, an Igbo community leader and businessman who has lived in Kano for several years with interest in hotels and electronics told the Economic Confidential that apart from ignoring the MASSOB’s directive some of them had cautioned the chairman of Ohaneze in Kano to desist from using the name of Igbos to cause in Kano state where they had witnessed peacefully coexistence with the local people in the last eight years before the recent attacks by Boko Haram against security agencies.
The Igbo leader said: “There is adequate security provided in the state to protect non-indigenes just as the traditional and religious leaders have assured us of maximum supports and protection in the state.”
The leader said: “We have warned Chief Tobias Michael Idika, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Kano State Chapter to stop using the name of Igbo to create enmity with our hosts and foment troubles for us. It is unfortunate that the chief and MASSOB leaders ignore the huge investment of Igbo business men and women who control large chunk of businesses in Kano ranging from hospitality industry, electronics items, spare parts dealership, transportation business, housing projects, road construction, drugs and medical consumables.
“With more than one million Igbos and our over N20 billion investments in Kano, this is our home away from home. And no one can force us to return home where there lands are scarce and expensive for setting up new businesses.”
Meanwhile Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State has described the call by some stakeholders in the South East geopolitical zone for return of Igbo from the Northern part of the country due to alleged killings of Igbos by Boko Haram, as a call for the disintegration of Nigeria.
The governor, who pointed out that God created Nigerians to live anywhere in the country and not only in Igbo land, further described the call as “misguided”, adding that Nigerians everywhere had the task of being united, irrespective of any socio-political differences that might arise at any given time.
In a meeting with stakeholders to feel the pulse of the people on national issues, Elechi said: “Not even in the most civilized economy of society do you have an environment totally free of crime but I want to remind you that the number of Ndigbo, people of South East, who have died in the Northern states are not as many as the number of Ebonyians who died in Ezillo. So, where do you run to that you will never have another crisis?”
He added that: “Asking Igbos to come home is a retrogressive step. That call is to put to an end the Nigerian nation, I say no to that. Nigeria is for all of us and not for some of us. I want to advise us to be closer to the security agents and let them know what is going on in their environment. If you have to come home, what about the killings in our own state? The final solution is that good will always triumphs over evil.
“The only solution is to embrace peace and cultivate the habit of peace. Preach and practice it and enforce it as much as you can. Let us not hear of retaliation again. It is not in our dictionary for now,” the governor said.
The Leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazruike who is struggling by all means to be crowned ‘the new Igbo leader’ after the death of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, has ordered Igbos in the North to get out and return to their home states in the East following incessant attacks by the Boko Haram in the region.
Recently after a closed door meeting, governors of south-eastern states announced that they had been in constant touch with the various state governments to ensure the security of lives and property of Igbos and that they would continue to dialogue with political and religious leaders as well as security agencies for a peaceful and united country. The meeting was attended by Governors Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Theodore Orji of Abia, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Martins Elechi of EbonyiPeter Obi of Anambra states.