Chief John Nnia Nwodo
Dr. Nwodo

OBINNA EZUGWU

The immediate past president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo has described as puerile and mendacious, a news item being peddled in a a certain media outfit, IKETEX MEDIA TV alleging that he said he had been vindicated on his statement in 2019 that IPOB was responsible for the killings in the South East and that herdsmen were innocent of the killings.

Nwodo in a statement sent our correspondent at the weekend, also dismissed as wicked falsehood, “a story credited me with saying that even the recent killings in Ebonyi State were carried out by IPOB and that I was not Governor Uzodimma and wouldn’t be cowed by IPOB and that any attack on my property would attract a reprisal attack from me on Afara ukwu.”

According to Nwodo, the story is “a terrible lie from the pit of hell and intended not just to tarnish my image but to set me on collision course with IPOB.

“Let me state categorically that I have not stated or given anybody the impression that I was interested in the 2023 presidential race, neither does my body language suggest it.

“Furthermore, I couldn’t have indicted IPOB on killings in the South East when I have always held the view that they are my children and share in their grievances arising from the overt marginalisation of the Ibo in the country.

“In my inaugural speech as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in 2017, and in my address at Chattam House in London, I had stated clearly and firmly that the struggle of IPOB is my struggle except that we differ in modalities because while they sought outright independence for Biafra, Ohanaeze Ndigbo stood for the restructuring of the nation in a united Nigeria.

“It is also instructive that in the twilight of my service to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, we had reached an understanding to work in concert with IPOB to achieve the desired objective for Ndigbo.

“Where and when did I fall out with IPOB to make a public statement accusing them of any crime or denouncing their activities?” he wondered.

Nwodo noted that he has deliberately avoided making public statements since he left office as Ohanaeze president earlier this year, insisting that those peddling the false stories have ulterior motive.

“Moreover, it is on record that since I left as President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I have deliberately shied away from making any public statement in order not to distort public view as to who speaks for Ndigbo after my exit,” he said.

“The only public speech I have made since then was recently on the day of tributes in honour of the deceased Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin.

“The obvious conclusion from the ill_conceived story is that it was intended to indict me and justify an attack on me.

“This mischief is as condemnable as it is indecent and should be roundly condemned by all decent minds. Nobody gains anything from unjustifiably engaging in a smear campaign on an innocent person.”