The South-East Enlightenment Network (SE-EN) has called on all Igbos across the country to avoid being misled into believing the utterly “deceptive” and “humorous” Islamisation hoax.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo planted this seed in May, claiming President Muhammadu Buhari was promoting an Islamisation and Fulanisation agenda.
Erstwhile Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and a host of other notable retired officers soon joined the bandwagon, under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF).
Owing to the severity of the claim, the South-East Enlightenment Network has advised Igbos to thread carefully, so as to avoid being drawn into fighting the wrong enemy.
The group gave this charge on Sunday in Enugu through President, Chimezie Egboh.
SE-EN lashed out at the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) over a communique alleged to be needlessly divisive and irresponsible.
According to the group, some highly placed persons, whom aren’t even from the region, are interested in leveraging on this so-called agenda for their personal gains.
“ We Igbos must be wary of because some people have wrongly conditioned us to see anyone from these classifications as enemies. The fallout of such mistake would not only be costly it will also stain the South-East with the stigma of starting a fight of blame even when there are indications that we have been provoked into taking certain actions,” the group stated.
“ We have recent experiences of individuals and organizations that exploited our agitation for fairness and greater self determination to feather their own nests. Such people went as far as pitching the entire South-East against the other five geo-political zones only to escape to foreign lands to enjoy the money they were paid by our detractors. These dubious agitator for Igbo rights went as far as inciting our youths to imprudently act in way that cut short their prospects in life while leading to the death of others.
“ This is why we find it alarming that the premises canvassed by Alaigbo Development Foundation uncannily tally with the ‘Fulanization and Islamization’ propaganda recently launched by former President Oluegun Obasanjo.
“ This divisive concept originally has its root in the campaign message of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who, confoundedly, is Fulani and a Muslim. If he is setting the Igbos up to fight his own people (Fulani and Muslims) we should be wary and ask why he wants to use the South-East as his disposable cannon fodder.
“We suggest that Igbos should immediately hold dialogues and other interactive engagements to explore solutions to the globally identified problems, bring the attention of our political leaders to the proffered solutions and pressure them to adopt same. This will ensure that agreed actions will be systematic, institutional, legal and enduring.”
However, the South-East Network advised Ndi’Igbo to ignore those promoting this script at it will push against its own interest.
“ In the short term, our recommendation is for communities to build networks that feed information about suspicious persons to security agencies and create a format of documenting such reports so that there would be a trail of evidence if security agents fail to act on such information,” the statement added.
“ As an intermediate measure, we recommend that Igbos massively support the creation of state and local government police as recommended in the report on Police reform, when the time comes.
“ We therefore urge Ndi’Igbo to reject those that are working with other ethnic nationalities to push us into acting against our own interest by making enemies of other ethnic nationalities before 2023, when alliances will be needed to clinch an Igbo presidency. Our people must be cautious of mushroom organizations like ADF, which are set up to torpedo our prospects at a time when greatness beckons on us.”