The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Thursday, February 11, warned Fulani herdsmen; not to take undue advantage of the Igbo character of hospitality as well as friendly acceptance of others in Igboland.
According to them, the herders must desist from engaging in actions, behaviours and attitudes inimical to the culture and wellbeing of Ndigbo.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Ohanaeze spokesman, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, that it viewed such a statement as reprehensible and highly unacceptable.
It noted that freedom of movement guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution for all citizens: did not include and would never include the right to destroy, desecrate or violate the laws and cultures of any part of the country.
It also does not include forceful entry into other peoples’ farmland with impunity; and disregard for the peoples’ customs and traditions over land, according to Ohanaeze.
The body gave the warning while reacting to rumours that a group had ordered non-Igbo to quit Igboland; describing the said notice as fake and not representing the position of the Igbo.
The statement read in part, “We are aware of the various interest groups with weird claims on the leadership of Ndigbo. However, Ndigbo recognises the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, led by Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, as the apex authority on such matters of national importance.
“It is, therefore, very instructive that the general public is hereby emphatically advised; to always verify the sources of information regarding the position of Ndigbo on where they stand on sensitive national issues.
“The Igbo are very outreaching, hospitable and hardworking. They adapt themselves to legitimate businesses in all parts of Nigeria and the world. Igbo are known to promote cordial relationships all over the world. It is, therefore, highly inconceivable for a sensible Igbo group to issue quit notice to non-Igbo; who are engaged in lawful means of livelihood in Igboland.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo advises non-Igbo in general and the herders in particular; not to take undue advantage of the Igbo character of hospitality; and friendly acceptance of non-Igbo in Igboland by engaging in actions, behaviours and attitudes inimical to the culture and wellbeing of Ndigbo.”