2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Angry Igbo youths, yesterday, accused the Federal Government of deliberately arresting successful Igbo sons for selfish and political motives.
Their anger followed the recent arrest of Igbo billionaire entertainer, Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged money laundering and tax evasion.
In a statement by the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), signed by its President, Goodluck Ibem, and released to newsmen in Owerri, the youths viewed the arrest and that of other prominent politicians earlier arrested by the commission and other federal government security agencies as an insult to Ndigbo.
It stated: “The arrest of Obi is another version of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-Igbo policies. We can now confirm that any Igbo man who succeeds in business or a philanthropist who helps his brothers is an enemy of the present administration.
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“Just a few days ago, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim was arrested, an Igbo man, the residence of a Supreme Court Justice was invaded by EFCC, an Igbo woman, and, today, Obi Cubana was also arrested because he is an Igbo man. The entire scenario confirms that this is complete ethnic profiling by the federal government.
“It is still fresh in our minds how the federal government victimised an Igbo son who owned Ibeto cement, so that a northerner will be the only one in-charge of the business in Nigeria. The business of victimising and intimidating Ndigbo is still fully on, we have seen it.
“Obi Cubana is not a politician nor a government contractor, but a legitimate businessman of great repute, who has invested so much in human capital. What is his offence to be embarrassed by EFCC.
“The reason for his arrest by EFCC is just a flimsy excuse by the EFCC to insult and embarrass the integrity of the Igbo nation.
“The EFCC claimed he was arrested because of money laundering and tax evasion. Now, how many Fulani cattle dealers and businessmen pay tax in Nigeria.
“The main people who are money launderers in Nigeria are Fulani businessmen. They keep large sums of money running into over N200,000,000 in their houses. They carry such an amount of money in cash to buy cows and transact other businesses.
“Over 80 percent of Fulani and Hausa businessmen do not have any bank account. Now who is the real money launderer here if not the Fulani businessmen.
“Obi Cubana is just a victim because he has been seen with some politicians who visited him in his house, so people within the corridors of power now see him as a threat who may sponsor his Igbo brother in the 2023 presidential election.
“We warn the EFCC to stop the intimidation and harassment of prominent Igbo sons and daughters under the guise of fighting corruption. If the EFCC claims they are looking for those evading tax and laundering money, they should go and arrest cattle dealers, tomatoes and carrots dealers from the North. So many of them do not even know what tax is and what is called a bank account,” Ibem stated.
Wondering why the commission would delve into matters of tax evasion, Ibem said: “EFCC is not an agency that collects tax on behalf of the government. For the EFCC to dabble into a matter that is not its constitutional responsibility confirms a sinister motive and plot by the FG to embarrass and intimidate the Igbo nation.
“The Federal Government should leave Ndigbo alone and concentrate on its responsibility of governance. The present administration has victimised Ndigbo enough and it has to stop.
“We demand immediate unconditional release of Obinna Iyiegbu and warn the EFCC to stop insulting the sensibility of the Igbo nation,” he said.
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