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Igbo leaders protest continued marginalisation, want grievances of pro-Biafra activists addressed

By News Express on 19/12/2015

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Leaders of Ndigbo have condemned what they perceive as the insensitivity of succeeding administrations at the centre to properly integrate Ndigbo into the exercise of power at the federal level.

They spoke via a communiqué presented to the public after a meeting of concerned Igbo elders, traditional rulers, and stake holders held in Lagos on Thursday night, December 17.

The meeting was convened at the instance of Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and was meant to review the position of Ndigbo in Nigeria in the light of ongoing public protest by youths mainly of the South East, requesting for Biafra.

The meeting was chaired by Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe GCON (former Chief of General Staff) and was attended by over 60 key Igbo opinion leaders.

The Igbo elders in a five-point communiqué resolved that Ndigbo are dissatisfied with the way they are unfairly treated in Nigeria. Their words:

“Ndigbo also noted that Nigeria was a negotiated federation of three regions in 1960, and our fore fathers played a major role in bringing it to be. In the first republic, all constituent regions, had their separate constitutions and had a say in the exercise of central power in Nigeria. Ditto in the second republic. In the third republic when Alliance for Democracy (AD) dominated in the South West geo-political zone, the then P.D.P President Olusegun Obasanjo made deliberate efforts to bring in A.D and A.P.P Ministers into his government. The Southwest was NOT PUNISHED for voting A.D. That was statesmanship and nation building in action.”

The elders pointed out that, “It is not in doubt that Ndigbo are nation builders, found all over Nigeria, earning their living and helping to develop the communities in which they are domiciled.

“Ndigbo do not have an empire mentality and do not wish to dominate any other tribe and would not want to be dominated either.

“Ndigbo would never accept to be second class citizens in a country in which their fore-fathers laboured along within others to bring into being and to develop. The current problem seems to Ndigbo to stem from the fact that Ndigbo would never be tired of speaking out and protesting against injustice and inequity in Nigeria.

“For as Elie Wiesel said, ‘There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest against injustice.”

The elders equally stated that having reviewed the ongoing street and public protest by the youths, calling for Biafra, they are of the considered opinion that these are outward expressions of the psychological and physical pains arising from the current exclusion of the South East geo-political zone from the critical decision making organs of governance of the country and this should be addressed and redressed.

“Consequently, Ndigbo strongly recommend: a) That dialogue be embraced in other to remedy the situation. b) That all public protest should be stopped. And more importantly, the public protests should not be exported. Ndigbo are deeply saddened by the loss of lives arising from the protest and urge that these be stopped immediately. Enough Igbo blood has been spilled in Nigeria.”

•Photo shows Senator Ekweremadu.

Source News Express

Posted 19/12/2015 05:47:46 AM

 

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