The Igbo apex socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has dissociated itself from the statement credited to the body, calling for the change of Nigeria’s name.
The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke to a news correspondent on the telephone debunked the statement credited to the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the body, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu.
Nwodo said the body never approved or authorized the statement, saying that it didn’t represent the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
“Ibegbu is on his own. Ohanaeze Ndigbo never authorized the statement and as such does not represent the position of Ohanaeze.
“His statement is outrageous and hence he is banned from issuing a statement on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo without authorization. He also has been issued a query on the statement,” Nwodo disclosed.
Ibegbu had in a statement released to the media on Monday, asked that Nigeria should change its name immediately as the name connotes “lack of progress, corruption, and darkness.”
Ibegbu noted that the name was given to Nigeria by the lover of then Governor-General of the country, Lord Frederick Lugard who later became his wife and that it was a name given in the heat of passion.
He said, “Many countries in Africa, Asia, and even Europe changed their colonial names after independence but we foolishly stuck to the name with all its attendant minuses.
“I challenge Nigerians to have an immediate conference where different indigenous names could be agreed upon as the new name of this country.
“Unless we change our name, our numerous problems may have no solution because there is something in a name.”
He also called on the leaders of Yoruba nation to meet to decide on the controversy over the name Yoruba, while commending Femi Fani Kayode for his patriotism and move to restore the dignity of the race.
“Though the name Igbo was not given to us by anybody if any day we find out any question mark on it we shall change it. We are not Ibo but Igbo and Ndigbo,” Ibegbu said.