The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Imo State, noting that it has more than political significance.
President of the apex Igbo social-cultural organisation, Prof. George Obiozor, who spoke today while welcoming Buhari to Owerri, said that the visit has reassured his people that there is still reason for optimism for Nigeria and Nigerian unity.
Without any particular reference to leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Obiozor, however, urged the president to free Igbo youths being held in various detention facilities across the country by security agents.
He said that the region would continue to be part of Nigeria as long as there is justice in the country.
He said, “Mr. President your visit and presence today in Igboland and Owerri, Imo State in particular, has more than political significance.
“In manner of symbolism, this visit has thrown light into the cloudiness and doubts surrounding the perception of the relations between your government and Ndigbo.
“Your presence reassures us that there is still reason for optimism for Nigeria and Nigerian unity. I feel very pleased in my capacity as President-General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide; and on behalf of the galaxy of Ndigbo leaders gathered here today, and the entire Igbo Nation, to welcome Your Excellency wholeheartedly to Igboland.
“It is also our firm belief that this visit will mark the beginning of a new chapter of dialogue, cooperation and understanding between Ndigbo and your administration.
“Your Excellency, the most urgent and imperative need of Ndigbo today is security. The security of Ndigbo in Nigeria and beyond has become a compelling primary responsibility of serious concern for Ndigbo.
“Regrettably our South East Zone has recently become a theatre of conflict, negating the peace-loving nature of our people.
“In this context, Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls for the establishment of a zonal and state police apparatus to support and complement the existing federal security architecture.
“It is in this same vein that Ohanaeze Ndigbo appeals to you, Mr. President, to see to the release of Igbo youths detained by various security agencies across the country.”