A coalition of Igbo groups has cautioned against an alleged attempt to link some factional leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and its security wing, the Eastern Security Network, ESN.

NEWSMEN reports that Ohanaeze broke into two factions after its January election, with one led by Amb. George Obiozor and the second group under the leadership of Chief Chidi Ibeh.

There have been failed attempts to reconcile the two groups.

Some Igbo groups are now claiming that having failed to reconcile them, there was now plan to use the Presidency and harass the Ibeh-led group into submission.

The coalition made the claims in a statement issued to journalists, signed by Dr. (Mrs) Helen Ogbonnaya, the Spokesperson Coalition of Igbo Groups and National President, Southeastern Nigeria Women Professionals.

The groups- Southeastern Nigeria Women Professionals, World Igbo Youth Congress, and Igbo Students Union warned of the consequences of using security agents to harass Igbo leaders.

They claimed that “using security agents to arrest the leadership of Chidi Ibeh-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, through the instrumentality of the presidency, by labeling them part of the unknown gunmen have been uncovered. The grand plan is to detain Obiozor’s rivals until further notice.”

They added in the statement that “it’s of public knowledge that Obiozor’s emergence as factional President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo contravened the laid procedures for Ohanaeze elections, as stipulated in articles 14 and 21. This is what gave birth to a parallel leadership widely accepted by Igbos.

“Having failed to follow procedure, Obiozor rallied help from the presidency to persuade a few governors and serving ministers to support the illegality.

“Igbos rejection of Professor Obiozor was a clear rejection of the imposition by external detractors.”

We are aware of the petitions laced with falsehoods to implicate Chief Chidi Ibeh, Uche Okwukwu and Okechukwu Isiguzoro as members of IPOB and ESN. This is laughable, as these Igbo leaders are representing the genuine interests of Ndigbo, as such, all forms of blackmail against them will fail.

“The college of Southeast Bishops have waded into the crisis in Ohanaeze Ndigbo and attempts to arrest Chidi Ibeh and others by Obiozor through the presidency will bring more disasters and uprisings in Igbo land.

“We are aware of the lawsuits in Umuahia, Owerri, and Abuja, the case should be allowed to do their job. Security agents should not be used for vendetta against Igbo leadership,” they further stated.

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