The Igbo Community Association in Jos has expressed its dissatisfaction with the Plateau State government over the mass burial of its members killed during the May 20 twin bomb explosion in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
The president general of the community, Chief Jonah Ezekwueme, stated this while briefing journalists in Jos, adding that the Igbo don’t bury their people elsewhere other than their ancestral homes. He stressed that “no matter how poor the person is, the association takes responsibility of transporting his corpse to where the burial is expected to be conducted” and warned the state government against repeating such act.
Chief Ezekwueme urged the government to disregard the splinter group led by Mr. Uche Muoka, who paid a courtesy call to the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Barr. Olivia Dazyem, saying the group aimed at causing disaffection and division among the Igbo community, especially now that 2015 elections were around the corner.
The ICA president said members of the group were neither members nor executives of ICA, and so could not be speaking on behalf of NdIgbo in Jos.
While reiterating the fact that the state government was wrong in carrying out mass burial without recourse to the community, Ezekwueme said that instead of bickering over the stand of Ndigbo on the issue of mass burial, the state government should hasten arrangements to pay the hospital bills of those in hospital as it promised, and also provide relief materials to the victims of the bomb blast.
Ezekwueme’s words: “While not being confrontational to the state government because as law abiding citizens, we have been discharging our obligations to the state. We must quickly add that the action of the commissioner in receiving a splinter group to fan the embers of crisis, and castigating duly elected traditional council and political heads of Ndigbo in Jos leaves a sour taste in the mouth.”
“We have been interacting with the government, and they know the office of the Eze Igbo of Jos and the ICA secretariat, and the commissioner truly knew that those people she received were not officials of ICA, and so the intentions cannot be anything but suspect.
“We reiterate our earlier stand that Nidigbo is not known to burying their own outside their homestead, and for any Igbo man to support the action of the government meant that he is surely not of Igbo extraction.”
“The authentic leadership of Ndigbo in Jos is that led by Prof. Jerome Obilom as the Eze Igbo of Jos and Chief Jonah Ezekwueme as the president of ICA; any other person or groups are just impostors trying to gain relevance now that 2015 election is around the corner,” the president stated.