No plans to apologise over 1966 coup – President General of Ohanaeze, Iwuanyanwu

The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has dismissed claims by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that he intends to apologise to the Fulani ethnic group for the killing of Sir Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa during the 1966 coup.

The Nation reports that Iwuanyanwu dismissed this in Owerri, Imo state this weekend. He said it was unfair and unjust to accuse the Igbos of being responsible for the coup. He declared that Ohaneze Ndigbo would never apologise for something they did not do.

“I was shocked to read a voice mail message which was circulating all over the country and all over the world alleging that we held a meeting in Enugu and that the meeting was poorly attended where the decision was taken that we are going to Sokoto to apologise to the Fulanis over the death of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa and other Northerners. They abused me and insulted me. I read it and I was sad. I don’t expect that somebody or a Christian will come out and tell a completely false story against me. I never said anything like that.”

He explained the recent retreat in Enugu was actually a meeting of committees established for the development of Igboland and the issue of apologising to the Fulanis was never discussed.

He emphasised that the Igbos were not responsible for the 1966 coup, which he described as a purely military affair.

“Igbos didn’t kill anybody or leader but the Igbos were killed. So, as far as Ohaneze Ndigbo is concerned, Igbo did not have any business with that coup, that coup was purely a military affair like other coups that occurred in the country,” he said.

Iwuanyanwu expressed disappointment and pain over the lies against him, stating that he had always worked to bring dignity to the Igbos and Nigerians.

“It pains me that people will tell naked lies just to bring down a man of my status, a man who for over 60 years had laboured to build a name. I have served Igbos and Nigerians in various capacities and at every stage I have been aware that I’m an Igbo man and I have done everything to bring dignity to the Igbos. I can not understand why my people will come and start telling lies just to bring me down. The whole thing is false,” he said.

He explained why the organisation did not invite the Southeast Governors to the event.

“We didn’t invite the governors because we felt that the Governors are so busy to leave their states affairs to attend committee meetings, but it was well attended. We had over 200 people at the meeting which was televised,” he said, adding “Somebody told lies that nobody came, in fact I received congratulatory messages from all over the world.” he said.