The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Abia State chapter, have urged Igbo people living in the North to stop fleeing the region because of Boko Haram, urging them to stay back and defend themselves.
They spoke in reaction to the alleged selective killings of Christians, non-Muslims, and Southerners resident by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Speaking with our correspondent in Umuahia, the Chairman of Ohaneze in the state, Dr. Emmanuel Okparanta, said “Ndigbo are very instrumental to the development of Nigeria, and nobody can chase us away from any part of the country because we are one Nigeria, and will continue to be one.”
He urged Igbo people living in the North to be vigilant and wise in the face of the worsening security situation in the region.
The call re-echoed a position taken by the South-East governors in a their recent meeting in Enugu.
A source, who was at the meeting, had confided in our correspondent that though the governors encouraged the Igbo people and Christians living in the North to maintain peace with everybody in their host communities, they asked them not to fold their arms while being attacked.
He said, “They should not fight but if there is any attack on them by anybody whatsoever, they should strongly defend themselves because this is one Nigeria and nobody has the right to intimidate anybody.”
Also, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has asked Northern Christians not to flee but to remain steadfast in spite of the onslaught by the violent sect.
The Chairman of the Fellowship in Abia State, Dr. Theophilus Anyimson, said Christians should be vigilant and more serious with prayers against any form of insurgency “but while they pray, they should also open their eyes and resist any attack against them”.
“You should take up your arms and defend yourselves; don’t wait to be butchered. As we pray, we should not fold our arms and be killed; we should do whatever we can to defend ourselves”.
The PFN also expressed faith in the ability of the Federal Government to contain the security threats in the country.
Meanwhile,the Ohaneze Youth Council has described Boko Haram allegations against the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (retd), as laughable and unthinkable.
Speaking with SUNDAY PUNCH in Umuahia, National President of OYC, Ikechukwu Isiguzoro, said it was illogical for anyone to think that Ihejirika, a Christian from the South could have any deal with a terror group like Boko Haram, whose only agenda was to decimate Christians and establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria.
He further argued that Boko Haram suffered its heaviest casualty while Ihejirika held sway as COAS, adding that anyone associating him with the terror group was wrong.