OHANEZE DENIES BACKING AMNESTY FOR BOKO HARAM; SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS
Ohaneze Ndigbo has denied blanket support for the amnesty programme, insisting that victims of Boko Haram attacks must be compensated. Reacting to the statement credited to it during its solidarity visit to Kano in the aftermath of the bus park bombings, that it supported amnesty for Boko Haram, the Ohaneze President General, Chief Nnachi Enwo Igariwey described the statement as mischievous. Speaking with a group of clergymen under the aegis of General Assembly of all Igbo Christian Organizations and Ministers (GAAICOM) in Enugu on Saturday, the Ohaneze leader, told the religious leaders that his statement was that the Federal Government should do everything possible to bring peace to the land. He said that the news tabloid which originated the mischievous information has already retracted it in another edition..He said that Ohaneze is still studying the recommendations of people on the issue of amnesty and will take a position at the next Ime Obi meeting.
Chief Igariwey informed GAAICOM officials that he had told the Igbos in Kano to think home and ensure that as they invest in the North, they should also invest down South to avoid a situation whereby there is nothing to fall back on in times of emergency. He said that Ohaneze is working out a defense option for Igbos in the North which may be applicable if the security situation deteriorates. Chief Igariwey reiterated that any amnesty for Boko Haram without compensation for the victims will be unacceptable to Ndigbo and that Ohaneze is collating a list of all Igbo victims of the terrorist attacks from all Northern states. He called upon President Jonathan to do everything within his power to bring peace to the land.
Earlier in the week, the leadership of GAAICOM has registered its displeasure to the Ohaneze Leadership over the blanket endorsement given to the amnesty for Boko Haram without due consultations with all stakeholders. GAAICOM chieftain, Bishop Emmanel Chukwuma had earlier phoned the Secretary General of Ohaneze, Dr Joe Nworgu to register displeasure over Ohaneze's support for the amnesty. GAAICOM's position was that amnesty cannot be given to people not ready to repent and amend their ways. The occasion of the briefing provided opportunity for the Ohaneze leader to clear the air. . The GAAICOM leaders who attended the brief with the Ohaneze leadership include Apostle Dr PCJ Macjossy, Rev Obinna Akukwe among others.
GAAICOM gathered that the Emir of Kano provided the palace guards which provided safety for Ohaneze delegation throughout the visit. The Ohaneze delegation was led by its President General, Chief Nnachi Igariwey, accompanied by the Chairman South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, Senator Hope Uzodimma and Chief Emejulu Okpalaukwu while Senator Hope Uzodimma chartered the private jet which conveyed the Ohaneze delegation to Kano. The Emir of Kano told the delegation that he was also attacked by Boko Haram, and that Kano indigenes are not against the Igbos.