Foremost Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze has reacted to Anambra State Governor, Prof Charles Soludo’s plan to grant amnesty to agitators in the state.
Recall that Soludo had in an interview with Channels Television complained about the violent attacks in the South-East.
The governor had said his administration was ready to rehabilitate and offer skill acquisition training to those willing to surrender.
“Within the agitation movement, we have to agree that there are now factions. There are various factions. There is one led by one guy in Finland called Simeon Ekpa.
“IPOB has come out to accuse that group of being the one behind much of the criminality taking place in the southeast. It is a very huge positive development.
“A lot of them in the bush out there are having camps here and there. They come out to kidnap and kill. Once we isolate all the groups that are not involved in this, then we can focus on the criminals.
“We have also offered them some kind of amnesty. Come out, give us your guns, we are prepared to give you training in whatever skills, even if we have to raise resources to empower you to become useful partners in the development of the society,” the governor had said.
However, Ohanaeze affirmed that the use of the word amnesty connoted that the youths had been committing an offence when in reality, they were only fighting against marginalisation.
Ohanaeze Spokesman, Alex Chidozie Ogbonnia, said, “The cause is that the South-East is being alienated; we are being marginalized and unemployed, we are sidelined and marginalised in government. And because of that, our youths are unhappy. They are being rendered poor on daily basis because of where they come from, because of the historical experience of their fathers or grandfathers. Because of that, they are angry and to that extent, there is agitation, either you treat us well or allow us to go. And to that extent, they are causing some of these problems in the name of IPOB and others.
“As a matter of fact, the remarks by the President where he talked about 95 per cent and 5 per cent votes aggravated the situation. The present government has not been fair to the South-East, and the people are expressing their dissatisfaction with the system in various forms.
“Soludo is doing the right thing, calling them out, using the word amnesty. Well; the important thing is that the young people who are agitating are right. I want to congratulate Soludo. He is a man who has the audacity to tread a difficult path. He will get enough support. And if Anambra succeeds, it will affect the other South East States”, Ogbonnia said.