July 16, 2024

Ohanaeze to banish Uzodinma in Igboland over open grazing


*Buhari and Uzodinma

The Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has cautioned the Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma, against withdrawing from the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governor’s Forum.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo stated that it would excommunicate the governor if he turned around to support open grazing.

Governors of the 17 southern states had pronounced a ban on open grazing in the region at their meeting in Asaba in May. At a follow up meeting on the issue on July 5 in Lagos, the governors set a September 1 deadline for all the states in the region to pass a law prohibiting open grazing.

Uzodinma, however, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa on August 26, 2021, withdrew from the agreement of the governors, and assured Buhari that Imo would not be a part of those states to ban open grazing.

Reacting to the governor’s withdrawal in a statement by its secretary-general, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Ohanaeze noted that it had warned him on the dangers of such decision.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide had warned the Governor of Imo state on the dangers of withdrawal from the ban on open grazing initiated by the Forum of Southern Governors, as the Imo Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma had attracted scourge of hatred, plagues, and curses on his government,” the statement said.

Ohanaeze said that Mr Uzodinma’s absence from meetings of the Southern Governors’ Forum which held in Lagos and Asaba, raises suspicion of what they described as “an attempt to ambush the resolutions of southern governors.”

According to the organisation, “Our suspicion had been reinforced with the continued absence of Governor Hope Uzodinma in the meetings of southern governors in Asaba and Lagos, which was intentional and premeditated to ambush the resolutions of the southern governors, and he will never escape the venom of Ndigbo, as he will surely taste the retribution of God and wrath of the people as a confirmed saboteur and this will serve as a warning to any Igbo governor that will follow such decision will never escape the malevolence and venomous action of the people.”

The group further alleged that Mr Uzodinma has become a tool in the hands of detractors who seek to “destabilise southern Nigeria” and warned that he must show repentance and rescind the decision to pull out from the ban on open grazing from September 1, 2021.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo admonished Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma to show repentance and rescind the decision to pull out from the ban on open grazing from 1st September 2021, he cannot afford to face the consequences of this decision, Uzodinma is now the tools our detractors are using to destabilize Southern Nigeria, but if he continues, he will be excommunicated from any Igbo gathering and ceremonies from 1st September 2021,” the statement noted.

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