ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the Chairman of the Elders forum of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has described as fake news a report credited to him that he said the Yorubas were political rascals.
In a viral video trending on social media, Iwuanyanwu was seen calling Yorubas “political rascals” at a town hall meeting, over the outcome of the just concluded general elections.
Reacting, the elder statesman said his statement during Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s one-year in office at the weekend, was manipulated and circulated on social media by blackmailers.
The Igbo elder made this known to newsmen in Owerri, while dissociating himself from the said story.
He also warned all perpetrators of the fake news to desist from it saying that it is a criminal offence to circulate fake news against a peace-loving Nigerian.
According to Iwuanyanwu: “My awareness has been drawn to fake news circulating on social media completely misrepresenting the statement I made in Awka, Anambra State, in connection to the killings, destructions of properties, and harassment of Igbos in Lagos during the recent elections.
“My statement was covered live by Arise Television, Channels, and many other electronic and print media houses. All Nigerians of goodwill who care should get the true transcript of my statement from any of these media houses.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that at no time did I make the statement credited to me by blackmail circulating on social media that Yorubas are political rascals as this was fraudulently manipulated. I want to warn all perpetrators of this fake news that it is a criminal offence to circulate fake news against a peace-loving Nigerian. For the avoidance of doubt, I am a senior citizen who has meritoriously served Nigeria.
“The Seven Igbo Speaking States namely: Rivers, Delta, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, and Enugu States have also honoured me with the Traditional Title of AHAEJIAGAMBA NDIGBO. I am indeed the first Igbo man to be so honoured. As a professional Engineer, I have been honoured with numerous merit Awards including the ng institution of an annual lecture series in my name by my Colleagues in appreciation of my contributions to Engineering, Science Society, and Humanity.
“I am the Grand Patron of many youth organizations in the country. Most of my close friends who have influenced my business and professional life are from the Northern and Western parts of Nigeria. For instance, I am the Balogun Babaguwan of Ibadanland. I have also been honoured with Chieftaincy titles by numerous Yoruba Obas.
“I am no doubt an honorary citizen of Yoruba land. I have many personal friends and staff of my various companies including directors who are Yorubas. Most of them played major roles in shaping my economic destiny, therefore do not have any reason whatsoever to in the Yoruba tribe whom I regard with great respect.
“What I did at the ceremony was to admonish Igbos who felt threatened by various attacks in Lagos that they have no cause to worry because there are no problems between Igbos and Yorubas. I therefore told them to stay in Lagos and go about their normal businesses. I did however mention to them that the attackers are political rascals, and their action does not reflect the good relationship between Yorubas and Igbos.
“Having said this, on a personal note, I must comment as follows: I felt very sad that a Nigerian should be denied his democratic right to vote for any candidate of his choice because of his tribe. What happened to Igbos in Lagos was in the press and Igbos are very grateful to those distinguished well-meaning Yorubas who group to speak against the killings, injuries, eyes, and destruction of properties of Igbos in Lagos only because they got for ed the candidates of their choice.”