The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has condemned, in strong terms, the alleged harassment of female members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB Women) by security operatives in Owerri.
It said that the continued intimidation of the Igbo women is uncalled for and would only end up scraping the scars of the wound inflicted on the Igbo nation during the Aba women riot of 1929 which left many Igbo women dead.
Reports had it that more than 1,000 female members of IPOB had grounded Owerri, the Imo State capital, reportedly in protest over the continued disappearance of their leader, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu, after the military allegedly invaded his home in Afara Ukwu in Abia State.
The women, who reportedly brandished Biafran flags and other insignias, it was gathered, were also on sensitisation march on the IPOB’s proposed referendum.
The OYC, in a statement, emailed to newsmen, from its Deputy President General, Obinna Achuonye, after its National Executive Council meeting held, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, at the weekend, cautioned the security operatives against highhandedness.
The group said in the statement, “We condemned vehemently the continuous harassment of Women especially IPOB Women who were expressing their displeasure on the whereabouts of some of their arrested members.
“We still remembered the Aba women riot of 1929 and call for respect for all Igbo women anywhere they may reside to avoid a repeat of new version of Aba women riot of 1929.
“We wish the military to restructure their Operation Python dance especially by being more friendly than hostile in their operations.
While we don’t support illegality especially from criminals but we want Nigeria Army to have a human face dealing with the Igbo in South East especially now there’s no civil disturbances or war in our geopolitical zone”, the statement partly read.
The group disclosed that it would host its first summit on national referendum in September, this year, where it would discuss some critical issues concerning the region and the nation at large.
“Ohanaeze Youths will host the First Referendum National Summit on 28/29th September in Owerri and call on Ndigbo to wear black bangles to show their support for the event from September 1st.
“We commend the leadership of all Nigeria Ethnic Nationalities Youth organisations led by Arewa Youth President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, and OYC President, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, as we welcome all 250 Ethnic Nationalities Youth organisations in South East, for the National confab by September 2018”, the statement added.