Igbo Leaders of Thought, an association of Igbo socio-political leaders, on Monday accused the police of shielding “northerners”, suspected to be Boko Haram members, who attempted to bomb a church in Owerri, Imo State, on Sunday.
About six persons were reportedly arrested after security operatives discovered bombs planted in the premises of a branch of Living Faith World Bible Church, a.k.a. Winners Chapel.
In a statement by its deputy secretary, Evang. Eliot Uko, the Igbo Leaders of Thought condemned the refusal of the police to parade the suspected bombers.
“We condemn the refusal of Imo Commissioner of Police to parade the arrested Boko Haram fighters who attempted to plant bombs in the Owerri church this weekend.
“The six fighters, said to be northerners by eye witnesses, who confessed they had a mandate to bomb five churches in Owerri, are being shielded, a sharp contrast to the humiliation the police gave pro-Biafra activists in Enugu penultimate week by parading them naked to complete their humiliation.
“Ndigbo are keenly watching development as they unfold,” the group said.
The Igbo Leaders of Thought equally stressed that South East governors should not be blamed for what they described as the “abysmal and lackluster performance” of Igbo delegates at the ongoing national conference.
“The ongoing blame game and buck passing engaged by Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership, to wit, that the South East governors are to blame for the abysmal and lackluster performance by Igbo delegates at the ongoing confab is both unintelligent and unhelpful to the urgent issue at hand,” the statement said.
Rather than blaming the governors, the Igbo Leaders of Thought advised that what Igbo delegates need to do at this “extra time is to build synergy amongst themselves and with other zones on how to salvage the situation.”
Continuing, the statement said, “blaming each other will not save the situation.
“The truth, regrettably, is that those who parade themselves as leaders were actually busy lobbying these same governors in their desperation to be nominated confab delegates that they unwittingly placed themselves in a position where they could neither advice the governors nor intelligently plan Igbo strategy at the confab.
“All their energies were blindly directed at how to advance themselves individually.
“There were no genuine effort to chart a sensible course of action with other zones while there was still time.
“They were busy hustling to be nominated as delegates as that was more important to them than all else.
“They foolishly assumed that just one meeting at Asaba was enough to close ranks with other zones for such a serious battle.
“There was obviously no zeal, no passion, no genuine, commitment to the battle ahead.
“Blaming the governors for a failed performance everyone saw coming, is childish and a very poor alibi to cover up obvious flaws and weaknesses.”
The Igbo Leaders of Thought also warned of the consequences of failing to restructure the country.
“We believe that all hope should not be lost – we believe the right thing should still be done as the consequences of not restructuring Nigeria now will be felt by all, including the region presently boasting that they have hijacked the confab.”