The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale has said his comment on the Igbo race concerning 2023 presidency was largely miscontrued.
Reacting to criticism by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemning him for saying “the Igbo cannot be trusted with power”, the Oluwo said “no monarch in Nigeria feels the pains of Igbos more than I do”.
The Oluwo, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alli Ibraheem, noted that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo is a respected body representing a sophisticated, intelligent, hardworking, cosmopolitan, industrious and enlightened race, adding that (Oluwo of Iwo) has Igbo in his blood.
The Ohanaeze in it’s reaction, had earlier stated, “We will therefore restrain from hoisting the monarch with his own petard, rather we advise that he should undergo some tutelage under some more experienced cosmopolitan urbane intelligent monarchs such as his neighbour, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Oni of Ife.”
But in his reaction, the Oluwo’s spokesman stated that “It is evident from their statement that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo has false knowledge of Oluwo.
“It is disappointing that my beloved Ohanaeze Ndigbo could jump on the media in response to a misleading headline cast to sell the story. Oluwo remains one of the leading monarchs canvassing for a united Nigeria, equity and justice most especially for the Igbo tribe because I have suffered marginalisation.”
He also quoted the monarch as saying, “I’ve invested heavily in sustaining Nigeria’s unity and will continue doing so. I expected a swift eradication of the sit home order by the Eastern Security Network (ESN) and The IPOB which I trust their cooperation with stakeholders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo can curb. I’ve reached out to respected monarchs from the East most especially the highly respected Obi of Onitsha and Igwe Agubuzuo of Enugu.
“The demarcated restriction is a self-inflicted punishment in the United States. No monarch feels the pain of the Igbos like I do. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo should read more about my activities before jumping on the media. My message is to their advantage should they see it as such.
“On October 8, 2021, I issued a statement titled “Oluwo to FG: Heal Civil War Wound on Igbos ” appealing to the federal government to hold a national conference centring on healing and compensating Igbos for the wounds sustained from civil war. Did the Ohanaeze Ndigbo make any contact to commend or do a follow-up?”
“I’m surprised Ohanaeze Indigo could picture my esteemed office as dividing Nigeria. All informed Nigerians are not unaware of my sacrifice to hold the pillar of Nigeria’s unity. I’m a good friend of the Igbos and the only monarch to use made in Nigeria Igbo car, Innoson. I have a cordial relationship with Igbo highly respected monarchs and personalities.
“They have qualified brains who can be president. I’ve family in the Igbos like Chief Sam Iwuajoku and friends such as Peter Emeagwali, Chief Billy Okoye, Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson), and Chief Chike Ogeah of Marriot Hotel, Peter Ugomozie and others too numerous to mention.
“Igbos are hardworking but no one is perfect. While I’ve promoted their strengths, their weakness must be addressed for adjustment. I’m a father to the nation. I’ve watched the activities of the IPOB and ESN on television and social media.
“They should stop hurting us by attacking our own (Igbo)people. Any Igbo kill is my family. Igbos should give equal opportunity to non-Igbos on their land. The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has to convince us by speaking to the IPOB and ESN regulating and enforcing sit at home order.
“My throne respects equity, Ohanaeze Ndigbo are challenged to reach out to the presidency to grip an idea of my consistency to have a national dialogue on Igbo Civil War wounds.
“I was the first monarch outside South East to visit the Innoson manufacturing company owned by an Igbo man Innocent Chukwuma and the only Nigerian monarch using the Innoson vehicle which I bought in January 2018. I went further to advertise and promote the made in Nigeria vehicle on highway billboards throughout the country on my personal expenses.
“I want to challenge the Igbos further to name a monarch outside the South East who has ever dressed like an Igbo king? I remain an Oba and very committed to the unity and oneness of Nigeria. The Igbos should act more, talk more and do more about the unity of Nigeria instead of their vituperation against an unrepentant preacher and promoter of one Nigeria.
“Oluwo has never said Igbo can’t produce the president but need to restrategise. For the hasty conclusion and unguided vituperations, the respected throne of the Paramount Ruler of Iwoland deserves an apology from Ohanaeze Ndigbo.”