*Tells NASS,others to disregard handlers of group
*Wants security, intelligence agencies to investigate group, unravel sponsors
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–THE Coalition of Igbo Progressive Youths Worldwide,CIPYW, a body of young industrious sons and daughters of South East extraction,has asked Nigerians to disregard a media statement credited to one
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro,regarding Armed Forces Service Commission Bill submitted to the Senate by an illustrious son of South East and Senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, for consideration last week.
Isiguzoro,identified as President General of Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) in the statement,had picked hole in the bill, which the sponsor was asked by the leadership of the legislature to defer,describing it as an invitation of coup d’etat against civilian presidents.
Isiguzoro’s Ohaneze Youth Council had cautioned members of the National Assembly on the implications of the proposed Armed Forces Bill by the Senate if passed into law.
It observed that if allowed to stand, the bill would truncate Nigeria democracy as according it it, the contents of the proposed legislation seeks to remove powers and authority conferred on the” President and Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces by 1999 Constitution Section 217 and 218 for the Composition, Appointment and termination of service Chiefs of Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
But in a swift reaction, Monday, the Coalition of Igbo Professional Youths,said contrary to the claim,there was no existence of such name as Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro or Ohaneze Youth Council in Igbo land.
A statement to this effect by the coalition’s National President, Dr Chijioke Uba, and National Secretary, Mrs Ngozi Anosike, insisted that “Mazi Okechukwu was non existent and rather, a creation of enemies of South East and some political irredentists who are visibly disturbed by the vantage position of the region as regards the 2023 presidential poll.
” We read with dismay a media report that emanated from a statement issued by one pseudo name, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro in respect to the Armed Forces Service Commission Bill presented to the floor of the Senate last week by our illustrious son, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, for consideration but which was deferred for more consultations.
In the said statement, the author had not only discredited this landmark bill but also described its emergence as a coup against democracy.
In answering the writer,we wish to first of all inform Nigerians that there is no such name as Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro or Ohaneze Youth Council in the entire South East. To our knowledge, this name or group is not known or in existence in the entire South East region of Nigeria.
“Our various checks with all the autonomous communities,residents in the South East as well as inquiries from known community chiefs across South East all pointed to the fact that no such character or group exists in the region and so we appeal to the media not to accord any more attention to this impostor group.
“To this end,we challenge the so-called Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro to name his village, community, uncle or state his surname so that we identify him. We restate here that he’s a creation of some elements having sleepless night over the towering position of the South East in the 2023 presidential election.
“We wish to remind the general public that the undertaker who goes by the name ” Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro ” and his Ohaneze Youth Council have since been disowned by Ohaneze Ndigbo,the revered apex sociocultural group of all igbos,home and abroad.
“We recall that Ohaneze Ndigbo while dissociating itself from this fictitious Isiguzoro, had also alerted that such name or group is unknown to the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization. The leadership of our parent body had lamented that Isiguzoro, sponsored by some elements, have taken their joke too far and for too long. It is regrettable that this some months after,these elements are still in their business,”the group said.
The Coalition of Igbo Professional Youths Worldwide calls on intelligence and security agencies to rise to the occasion by carrying out investigation on the group with a view to unraveling its sponsors and their true mission.
“These irredentists no doubt,have been recruited by their sponsors who are afraid of the towering position of the South East as regards the 2020 presidential election to scuttle the region’s chances. We implore security agencies to unravel their sponsors and their agenda,” the statement charged.
The statement added:”The Igbos in Nigeria and in the diaspora are all visibly angry that a character like Isiguzoro could be created and his nefarious activities linked to their homeland. If Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro exists, we challenge him to come out and refute our claims of his being a creation of insidious fiction.”
“Again, Ohaneze Youth Council under which this pseudonym hides to carry out the desperate agenda of its creators, does not exist anywhere in Igbo land talk less of having branches in the South East and at the national level, which Isiguzoro claims to be its President General.
“We, again, challenge him to produce the office address of Ohaneze Youth Council and the names of other members of his executive. It is a shame, an act of cowardice and cruel dereliction of responsibility to hide behind a character with the aim of painting achievements one does not merit.”
We make bold to state here that Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro fitted properly into the narrative of his creators,”the coalition further stated.
The Armed Forces Service Commission Bill,according to its drafter, seeks to address presumed lopsided appointment of heads of Security Agencies in the Country.
“For the likes of fictitious Isiguzoro, how has the present appointments of service chiefs where all are concentrated in one or two geopolitical zones helped the country in terms of security management? It asked.
“As stated in our earlier statement, we wish to restate our commendation to the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, for sponsoring the landmark bill,given that the bill is coming at a time of worsening insecurity across the country. It deserves all the support needed for its eventual passage into law.
We appeal to Distinguished Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, representing Abia South Senatorial District to, without further delay, subject the laudable endeavour to more legislative work and consultations, with a view to returning it to the red chamber, for possible passage.
” We call on stakeholders in the security sector, including non-governmental and civil society organisations, religious groups, as well as security agencies to as a matter of necessity,queue behind Senator Abaribe to see to the end of this legislative intervention,given that its passage into law would no doubt, provide permanent solutions to the growing insecurity in our dear country, “the coalition further stated.
Our interest remains to have a functional and United Nigeria where any citizen no matter where he or she comes from can fulfill their destiny and aspire to reach any height if qualified.
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