Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has stressed that the people of the South-east need to stay in the North and other parts of Nigeria to do business so that they can maintain their financial strength.
Augustine Amaechi, chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 19 northern states said this while reacting to agitations for secession of Igbo from Nigeria to form a separate nation of Biafra as being canvassed by the Indigenous People of Bifra, IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu in Abuja on Saturday.
IPOB had also asked Igbo people living, working and doing business in the Northern part of the country to return to South-east ahead of the formation of the region into separate state of Biafra.
But Amaechi said the agitations for secession by some Igbo in the South East was because of lack of jobs and employment in the region, according to a report in the Daily Trust newspaper.
He added that Igbo traders need the North and other parts of the country where they can sell their products to enable them maintain their financial status.
“Our elders are saying that even if the youth are agitating and angry, we need a restructure of Nigeria and not a division of Nigeria because you can’t sell what you produce in your village to make big sales like in Alaba Market in Lagos.”
He added that the northern part of Nigeria is actually one of the safest places for the Igbo ethnic group to live and do their business.
According to him, some of the skirmishes involving the Igbo and their host communities in the North are unavoidable and “is expected in a developing economy.”
Also speaking, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, George Obiozor said that Igbo nation is not at war with anybody.
“All we want is to be treated equally with other people. It is time for us to speak truth to power. We need peace and unity and they can’t be gotten through propaganda and transparency must be followed.”