Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has assured President Muhammadu Buhari that Ndigbo are committed to the unity of Nigeria.
EyewitnessMedia gathered that the President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Prof. George Obiozor, gave the assurance at a town hall meeting between Buhari and South East leaders on Thursday.
Buhari was in Imo State for one-day official visit and also inaugurated some projects.
Obiozor described Igbo as “fish in an ocean that won’t leave despite the storm”, noting that Igbo people will not leave the country no matter how rough things are, urging Buhari to create a platform for dialogue on critical issues affecting the South-East region.
He was quoted as saying this in a statement by Buhari’s media aide, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘I want to be remembered as a president who stabilised Nigeria, President Buhari tells South-East leaders’, on Thursday.
The Ohanaeze president said, “Ndigbo are committed to Nigerian unity and there is news for those trying to push us out of Nigeria.
‘‘Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the ocean and no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out of the ocean.
“Mr President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igbo land and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo nation.”
On his part, Buhari described attempts by some Igbo men to leave Nigeria as as “unthinkable”.
The president said with less than two years left in his eight-year tenure as President, security still remains a major priority for his administration.
‘‘If there is no security, there is nothing anyone can do no matter how much you try or the initiative you have.
‘‘Security is number one priority and then the economy. When people feel secure they will mind their own business,’’ he said.
Acknowledging the resourcefulness and enterprising spirit of Igbo people, Buhari said, “The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in-charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry.
‘‘Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria.
‘‘The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy.’’