ENUGU— Delegates from United Nations, UN, have met with apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, over issues on agitation for a Biafra republic and how to strengthen the unity of Nigeria.
The delegation led by a special representative of Secretary-General of UN, Ambassador Mohamed Ibn Chambas, met, yesterday, behind closed doors in Enugu, with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
Other chieftains of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who met with the delegation included Deputy President-General and former deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu; Enugu State President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia; Dr. Ifedi Okwenna; and chairman of Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Amb. Lawrence Agubuzor, among others.
Addressing newsmen on their mission, the UN representatives, Amb. Chambas said they came to commend the Ohanaeze leadership on the manner the body was able to stem the tide of wavering Nigeria’s unity at its crisis point.
Chambas said the UN was recently worried about developments in Nigeria, particularly in the South-East, noting, however, that the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, stands for a united Nigeria where human rights are respected and not trampled upon.
Chambas said: “We indeed came to commend them for the leadership they have demonstrated. Few months ago, we were all getting a bit worried with events and developments in the South-East of Nigeria but thanks to their leadership and their initiatives, they were able to bring together the chiefs and the political leaders and governors and respected persons of South-East and through this intervention, we now see that calm is restored and all are working to advance the one Nigeria agenda.
“The Secretary General believes in this one Nigeria project because he had always said that a united peaceful Nigeria is not only for the people of Nigeria, but indeed for the people of West Africa and for all of Africa.
We know the strength the people of South-East bring to Nigeria and to the sub region. There is hardly a single country in West Africa where you will not find enterprising persons from the South-East who are in their own rights economic ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So our simple message is to encourage the leaders, the elders of the South-East to continue to endeavour to seek ways in which they can work with all other parts of the federation and to strengthen the unity of this country and through a constructive approach to seek dialogue to redress whatever short coming there may be.”
The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nwodo, recalled that on July 12, 2017, Ohanaeze wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations about the security infrastructure in Nigeria, particularly as it affects to Ndigbo, which the UN on October 10 responded to the letter, indicating that it will send its representative for West Africa and the Sahel.
“We had very fruitful and frank discussions with Ambassador Chambas. He has assured us that the United Nations represents prevention of conflicts, represents promotion of development in a manner that improves quality of life and prevents resort to conflicts and protects human rights.”