Eze, (Amb) Nicholas Emenike Njoku, Eze Ndigbo community in Aigbaka Ejigbo, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area has denounced rumours making the rounds by persons who claimed some uniformed security men at his recent Ofala and new yam festival caused them psychological torture and embarrassment by alleged sporadic gun shoots fired at the event held at the Ronic Secondary School Aiyelegun Ejigbo.
Saying the revered Eze was responsible for the said embarrassment in them at the venue.
Eze Njoku added as a leader, he is vested with the responsibility of uniting people and not causing mayhems saying he is in a good stead with journalists and other aggrieved persons on the said day.
According to him, there were reports that some policemen shot into the air to disperse miscreants who were trying to make their ways into the venue which he said he was not personally aware of.
Ambassador Njoku announced that he is a friend to the people in his community and the larger society even as he maintained that journalists are his friends and could not have allowed them to be assaulted or insulted by anyone.
Explaining, he said as a UN Peace ambassador, he could not allow unruly attitude saying that all he was doing was to put the record straight.
He therefore apologised to anyone offended by the actions of the security men on the new yam festival day.
He quipped that it was not in his habit to look down on people especially journalists.
His words, “My Ofala that took place on the 30/09/23, some persons particularly some aggrieved journalists alleged that some police orderlies that attended the event were shooting sporadically a situation they said created fear and tension at the venue of the event.
“As a matter of fact, am a lover of peace and in good stead with all my people and in good and perfect relationship with journalists.
“It was somehow difficult for me to decipher what really going on that day while the event was on, that has informed my decision to invite you our friends- journalists to share views and interface with you on some issues in the public, and put them straight.
“The igbo community in Ejigbo specifically Aigbaka which am their Eze, we celebrated our new yam festival on the 31st of September and the event was massively attended.
“After the event, I started hearing certain reports in social media that some persons were insulted by some policemen they claimed shot sporadically in the air.
“Undoubtedly, I have two police orderly attached to me who are well trained, who know what to do at any given time, who know that I have zero tolerance for rascality, insult and violation of human right.
“It was really a fact that the crowd was much and the noise was much, and most of the dignitaries that were in attendance also came with their escorts.
“After the event, I started hearing reports that there was much shooting by police within and outside the venue of the event. I may not dispute that because there was so much noise.
“However, I am not a policeman. I learnt some policemen shot on the air to discourage uprisings.
“I noticed that there was a time some miscreants wanted to force their way into the venue which the officers tried to manage professionally according to report I got.
“I was at a certain point informed that the security men at the gate were preventing people from coming in, I sent for one of them, inquired why they were doing such.
“They said the ones they stopped were miscreants. I told them it’s a party, everyone was invited.
“I encouraged them to accommodate all, expressing optimism that policemen invited would bring peace and orderliness
“I do not know the real reason for shooting on the air. I have asked the policemen attached to me, they said they never did that.
“I do not know the exact police personal that did such shooting because there were so many police officers, soldiers and even OPC personal were there and from different divisions.
“The only aspect that worries me the most was the report that someone called my attention and I called the person’s bluff. Such is impossible. How would I say such that could cause break down of law and order in occasion that has cost me and my community so much money to organize. We can’t turn back to destroy what took us many months to build.
“I am an advocate of peace and love. I love people being happy around me.
“The day I was supposed to see people merry and rejoice with me and someone would hint to me or confined in me of imminent danger and I called such bluff, that is not who I am.
“I don’t know who is the person or persons that came to me as they claimed.
“Mind you, am a UN Peace ambassador. I cannot allow such to happen. Based on my status, I have to make every efforts to put records straight and to appease to anyone who felt offended by any act by anyone in my name on the said day, am so sorry. I do not take delight in making people unease.
“I can’t fight journalists because I need them greatly in the feature.
“I am just at the Genesis of my journey, dream and vision for mankind. I cannot fight them, disobey them or fail to listen to their wise counsel much more when they raise concern on issue of such magnitude.
“I repeat it also, my policemen never insulted anyone. I have urged them to reach out to their other colleagues to identify who may have insulted the people that day as alleged so that we could render an apology on the person’s behalf
“They said they may not guarantee that, stating the policemen that came were from different zones and commands
“The Divisional Police Officer(DPO) was in the know of our event.
“My position is that whatever happened that may have brought pains or ill feeling to anyone on the Ofala day was not at my instance and I apologise to any aggrieved person.
“I want to make peace with aggrieved persons in my community, guests and others who may have been insulted by any action of anyone.
“Am here to bring peace, among my Igbo people, our host and Nigeria at large. It will not be fair I allow minor issues or ill feelings to derail us.
We are on a rescue mission to unite our people.
“I must be grateful to God and to those who may have written any report on what they feel happened that day, they are my friends, they have guided my future steps.
They have thought me on how best to move.
“The journey ahead is not easy at all they are my best friends, not my enemies.
“It’s good they voice out their feelings. If there reports stand to be and eventually we recorded casualties, it wouldn’t have been a palatable story. It’s good to caution your friend before any evil occurs than cautioning then when it has happened.
“However, there was no casualty of any sort.”