By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—ABIA State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday, lamented what he called the unequal treatment of the Southern parts of the country, saying that treating the zone with disdain would not engender the much-needed unity in the country.
Ikpeazu warned against treating some parts of the country with disdain by the Federal Government, saying that it does not promote the much desired peace and unity.
According to Ikpeazu, time has come to look critically at issues that threaten the corporate existence of the nation and engage dialogue to stop them from escalating.
Governor Ikpeazu spoke at the opening ceremony of a two-day meeting of the elders and management committee of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, holding in Umuahia.
According to him, the greatest problem of Nigeria was lack of mutual respect and regard for one another, which he condemned.
He also blamed lack of mutual trust for the front position ethnicity has assumed in the country against the vision of the nation’s founding fathers.
The governor asserted that the resources needed to drive development of the country reside in Southern Nigeria and urged Nigerians to cooperate and join efforts to foster economic development in the Southern geopolitical zone through agriculture, industry, trade and commerce.
He also urged them to see politics as an enabler for development and assured the assembly of his support.
In his remark, the coordinating chairman and former vice president of the country, Dr. Alex Ekwueme who was represented by Chief Mbazulike Amechi, explained that the meeting would discuss burning national issues affecting the zone and Nigeria.
Among the issues, Amaechi noted, include, kidnapping, attacks by Fulani herdsmen, national security, violence and agitation in the Niger Delta, corruption, collapsing economy and agitation by pro-Biafra groups, among others.
Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clarke and leader of South South delegates and a representative of Rev. Bolanle Gbonigi, leader of the South West delegates, Senator Femi Okoronmu, in their separate remarks, lamented the state of the nation’s economy, the menace of the Fulani herdsmen and the need to restructure the economy.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the recommendation of the 2014 National Conference report which they said would provide the panacea fro the nation’s development.