Lawrence Onuzulike

A group, Igbos for Progressive Nigeria (IPAN) has called on #EndSars protesters to seize fire and sheathe their sword over the protests. IPAN National Chairman, Comrade Lawrence Onuzulike said the present crises situation will further cause anarchy and threaten the peace of the nation. Comrade Onuzulike who said this while addressing journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital, noted that protest is the right of every citizen, but it should be done peacefully without destroying government properties. Onuzulike called on the Federal Government to quickly intervene and end this crisis that have ravaged lives and properties. “IPAN stands for Igbos for Progressive Nigeria. It is an organization formed to unite all Igbos all over the world and to bridge the gap between Igbos and other regions of Nigeria. “We are tired of being seen as people who can’t be satisfied. People who are always fighting. We want to come together as brothers and sisters.

“We want to forgive so that whatever development that is happening in any part of Nigeria will also happen in Igbo land. We want to unite all Igbos and fight for our interest. “It is so wrong that people who produced the first President are no more in the political scheme of Nigeria, because part of us wants to be president why some are antagonizing the other, making us look confused. “We want to come together, speak with one voice, fight for our rights, take what belongs to us for the development of the South East. “We want a United Nigeria where all Igbos will be part of the scheme without marginalization. We must be loved equally. Nigeria belongs to us too. We are Nigerians and not black Americans who are begging to be accepted in America. “We should stop saying give us presidency. Who is giving you presidency? We own this country together and should take what belongs to us. “We formed this organization, we discovered that Igbos have been degraded politically.

From the President of the country to the Senate President and now nothing. We are no more at the forefront of political positions. “An average Igbo man will think his problem is Hausa or Yoruba man. No, we need to change this perception. Yes, they treated us badly during the war, but we must forget and forgive. We preached love every day, but inside us we don’t love. Remember, when you hold someone down, you are holding yourself down too. “We are not getting the development we want because we are fighting everyone. It is time to unite and dialogue and start getting what we want. “On the ongoing protest, we commended youths for speaking out. It is long overdue. Europe did it in the sixties. So, we encourage them for the change they are pleading for. But they should know when to quit. We don’t support destruction of lives and properties.

“I beckon on them to appoint whoever they want that will represent them to dialogue with the government, to ensure those demands they started are met. “We do not want a violent protest just like what happened in Benin City, Lagos, Abuja and some other places where youths broke into prison. Cars and houses were condemned. “We must certainly consider that this government is one of the governments that actually did something for Igbos. “While we are demanding, we should equally appreciate what this government is doing for the people of South East. We cannot remain opposition for the rest of our lives. “Yes, we want them to do our roads, which will enhance economic activities, promote evacuation of agricultural produce, youth empowerment and social development, railways, uninterrupted power supply. “If the Federal Government gives loan, let it get to the South East also, we need social amenities in the South East. These are the reasons why these protests are going on, protest because we are marginalized. “If you hear what Igbo people are earning in Europe. They are Igbos working hard on their own, not knowing they are developing Europe. Why don’t you make the country friendly for them to come home and invest to development in Nigeria? On 2023 Igbo Presidency, the IPAN chairman said: “We should be mindful of who we are projecting. Our problem is that we keep projecting one person in one party. It should not be one party affairs.

“It is a time to achieve presidency, the way we go in our own way is through dialogue, in a peaceful way. We don’t issue threats. We dialogue with you, tell you and convince you why we are qualified for presidency. “Don’t forget we have important Igbos in every party, we need to work together to promote every Igbo in all the parties. We should love ourselves. “Sometimes Igbos in one party hate Igbos in another party. To me this does not make sense. We cannot promote Igbo presidency without learning how to forgive. “Let me give example, Ojukwu ran for president in this country against Obasanjo, but Obasanjo won him in South East. It was a very big disgrace to the people of South East, that we cannot support our own. “Equally, when Kingsley Moghalu vied for presidency, Ohanaeze Ndigbo publicly endorsed Atiku against Moghalu. “Why must we endorse Atiku openly, even in the newspapers. Ohanaeze should be neutral, representing the interest of Igbos and not taking a position to one party alone. They should support every Igbo and give them equal level playing ground. “Mind you this is Buhari we are condemning, he was the one who constructed and built Zik’s Mausoleum for us which nobody built. Even when Atiku was in power he couldn’t influence it. “We need to come home and invest. I bet you there are Igbos in Lagos and other states who have not visited Igboland for the past 20 years. We are busy running to other states. The same states we feel that hates us.”

DailyTimes