The attention of the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been drawn to media reports putting the death toll of the Monday, 18 March 2013 suicide-bomb attack at New Road Luxury Park, Sabon Gari, Kano, which killed scores and wounded many, at 37! And the statement credited to two persons, Mr. Boniface Ibekwe and Mr. Chi Nwogu said they spoke on behalf of “Igbo leaders,” in Kano.
First of all, Ohanaeze Ndigbo reinstates its statement disowning one Mr. Boniface Ibekwe and warning him to stop parading himself as Eze Ndigbo in Kano. In the same vein, his cohort, Mr. Chi Nwogu is never the President of Igbo Community Association in Kano. On this note, we urge discernable minds to disregard any comment or statement coming from this group of people because they are not the voice of the Igbos in Kano.
Information reaching Ohanaeze leadership is that this group of people, in connivance with some dubious characters at the New Road Luxury Park has been secretly meeting with representatives of Kano state Government, plotting on how to play down the number of those who lost their lives during that grievous attack.
At this point, it is pertinent to state that Ohanaeze leadership opened a register for relatives of victims of that incident to register their names and some of the people have been cooperating. Ohanaeze recalls that as at 29 March, the Chairman and Secretary of Association of Luxurious Bus Owners (ALBON), Kano branch demanded for a list from our secretariat in Kano; and 37 names were given to them, with a clear message that the list remained inconclusive.
For now, Ohanaeze Ndigbo secretariat in Kano has recorded about 53 names for the dead victims and over 60 wounded. It is also important to note that a lot of people who were not residing in Kano treated themselves and quietly left. There are also many dead bodies that could not be recorded, owing to the problem of proper identification, while so many people were declared missing by their relatives. Ohanaeze Ndigbo is also aware of many victims who decided to seek treatment at private hospitals.
However, if Mr. Boniface Ibekwe and his cohorts deem it fit to make a public statement in their capacity as Igbo sons, nothing would have stopped them from seeking for the information they do not have. If they had consulted Ohanaeze leadership for authentic information, it would be given to them in their capacity as a people who speak the Igbo language and may trace their roots towards the Igbo race. In this regard, Ohanaeze leadership registers its displeasure over the actions of some people who can cheaply offer themselves to be used by agents of the state to down-play such a huge loss of lives and property of our people which has widely received condemnation.
Ohanaeze leadership in Kano state without fear or contradiction states that Kano state government is bent at using a group of people among us to split the figures of the casualty recorded on the regrettable attack of 18 March, 2013; and Ohanaeze Ndigbo cannot fold its arms and watch this happen. And Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s stand on this matter is that we are still counting the dead, the wounded and the properties lost in that attack. Kano state Government should remain patient with us; at the appropriate time, we will release the final list.
Hon. Chief Tobias Michael Idika
President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano State Chapter.
30th March, 2013