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What we want in 2019—Ohanaeze

By Chioma Gabriel & Peter Okutu

ENUGU—APEX Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, yesterday said it was not interested in Igbo presidency in 2019, but stated in strong terms that what it wants is good and purposeful governance, fair devolution of powers and respect  for the lives and dignity of non-Fulani citizens.

It however noted that it was still in consultation with all Igbo interests, maintaining that it must consult widely before taking any decision on 2019.

The Igbo leaders said  it will not take any decision on 2019 without subjecting it to the opinion, views , inputs and contribution from a wide spectrum of Igbo society.

In separate statements by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary and his deputy; Prince Barr Uche Achi-Okpaga and Chuks Ibegbu, respectively, Ohanaeze said: “Our main concern now is the restructuring of Nigeria in sync with other progressive groups and individuals in Nigeria. Once Nigeria is restructured, other things will fall in place.

“We want a level playing ground for all sections of Nigeria.We want justice , equity and fairplay. We want a Nigeria in which the bountiful talents of Ndigbo and other Nigerians will be fully realised.

“The nation, as it is presently constituted kills initiatives.”

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief  Nnia Nwodo also assured Ndigbo that he and his EXCO are committed to protect the interest of Ndigbo at all times.

Ohanaeze  therefore   called on the Inspector General of Police,  to disarm herdsmen before ordering licenced gun owners to submit them to the Police.

“Without dis-arming herdsmen, it will be inappropriate to tell licenced gun owners to submit them in the face of terror and attacks on innocent citizens in all parts of the country especially the middle belt and South.”

The group further  stressed that Igbo presidency without restructuring means little or nothing even as it accused the Buhari-led administration of lopsided appointments intended to keep Ndigbo marginalized and in a precarious state.

Ohanaeze further stated: “We have reiterated this severally that, by the current political architecture in Nigeria, Igbo presidency without restructuring means little or nothing at all. Any quarter that intends to use 2023 lgbo presidency to assuage or hoodwink us is on a wild goose chase. Every day, we cry of lopsided appointments but it has continued unabated. The latest now is Abubakar in ICPC.

“Now, every security agency is headed by the North, every military and para-military agency is headed by the North. Every anti-graft agency is headed by the North and virtually Fulani. For instance, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, the heads of the DSS and NIA, three key  security positions are from the same State (Katsina). Why on earth would they not be sentimental? Are they not human beings?

“That is why we have severe insecurity all over the place because at the top security echelon, there is no cross fertilisation of inter regional security initiatives. So, today, in a bid to sustain northern political hegemony, we are playing politics with security and Nigerians are killed in their tens and hundreds incessantly.

“Until we restructure to address these imbalances and shelve the Federal Government of many items on the Exclusive Federal list and assign them to the states, Nigeria will remain like a stationary machine; all motion, no movement.

“If we restructure Nigeria today, all the increasing agitations for self determination from Biafra, Ijaw, Oduduwa among others will subside appreciably. Where and when there is good government and leadership, there is less misgivings, less agitations and less struggle for power and authority. “

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