Calls for return to fiscal federalism
By Emeka Aginam
While condemning the recent quit notice by Arewa Youth Consultative Forum to Igbo people residing in the northern part of the country, Igbo World Assembly, IWA, has said the group would liaise with appropriate agencies to file a petition to the International Criminal Court, ICC, to prevent genocide and bring culprits to book.
IWA is the umbrella organisation that represents the apex national Igbo organisations residing across the world.
Calling for return to fiscal federalism as contained in the 1963 constitution, the group in a statement jointly signed by Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, President, United States of America chapter and Chief Oliver Nwankwor, Secretary General, The Netherlands chapter, noted that those inciting violence by giving fellow citizens quit notice should be held accountable for any incident that might occur within the timeline of the quit notice.
As a way of handling the threat holistically, IWA said mechanism was being set up to enable Ndigbo residing in the North to report provocations, insults, incidents, among others, adding that such evidences will be used in support of ICC filing in The Hague.
The group noted that by adopting fiscal federalism, each region should be responsible for the development and management of resources, including minerals, in its region.
“This will foster industrial development and competition among regions instead of the current docile nature of a majority of states as presently constituted. Nigeria needs to implement the national confab recommended equity in state creation within the geo-political zones,” the group said.
It noted that the quit notice was made by a sponsored group of criminals with primary intent to steal property, suppress the legitimate grievances of other groups and their inherent right to self-determination .
The continued agitation of Igbo youths across the country, according to IWA, is a by-product of persistent injustice and marginalisation arising from bad leadership and unjust structure of the country’s polity.
The group said a Nigeria of equal ownership is the only way to save the situation.
As a way of maintaining sanity in the system, IWA in its recommendation warned that Nigerians across the nation should exercise restraint at this point in time so as not to overheat the polity.
Urging all Igbo residing in the northern part of country in particular and Nigerians in general to go about their engagements lawfully, the group noted that security agencies should be deployed accordingly to ensure that there is no intimidation, hindrance or molestation.
The group advised Nigerian government and the International Community to setup mechanism to conduct referendum in each State and the various geopolitical zone of Nigeria for the people to decide how to be or not to be in Nigeria.
To prevent further escalations as well as reassuring those threatened, IWA recommended that the government should arrest the signatories to this threat and their supporters and put them on trial with immediate effect.
Noting that some people may have been traumatized by this threat, IWA called on the Nigerian government and the International community to setup plans and provide resources to deal with Igbo internally displaced people from the Northern Nigeria.
To save Igbo property in the North, IWA urged the government to work with Ohanaeze and Igbo groups in the North to help document Igbo properties.
“IWA will register such ownership to the appropriate International Community agency for recollection/repatriation from Nigerian government at any time. There will be no more abandoned properties in Nigeria as we are in a new century”, the group assured.