…Decry marginalisation of Igbo in the polity
…Say Igbo excluded in the headship of security agencies, 25 NNPC, 100 top appts
By Clifford Ndujihe
THE Professor Ben Nwabueze-led Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILoT, has urged Anambra State Governor-elect, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, to hit the ground running when he takes over the reign of governance, on March 17, 2022.
Describing Soludo as an intellectual, the ILoT, which decried the marginalisation of the Igbo in Nigeria, said Soludo has the capacity to excel and must do so to take Anambra and Ndigbo to the next level.
Nwabueze in a statement on behalf of the ILoT, entitled “A Revolution of Intellectuals,” said “Soludo has been a member of the Igbo Leaders of Thought and had attended our meetings now and again, even though he really lived outside the country. His victory is spectacular and we rejoice over it and pray to the Almighty to be with him in the assignment before him.
Prof. Soludo is the third intellectual in Government in the Eastern states that is with Ukpabi Asika and Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife. Each of them fought hard to sustain himself in government in spite of all efforts to pull them down.”
He continued: “I believe Soludo is a new phenomenon, an intellectual governor. In his over 70-page manifesto, the first of such compendium, he was specific in what he must do in every aspect of our needs and demands, in education, works and transport, utilities, lands and settlement, and overall development of the state.
“He clearly captured the state and clearly analyzed what is to be done, not fantasies.
“He saw the four-tier education set-up and promised to engage and improve on them. We see Dr Michael Okpara’s endeavours that built an education system that overtook those that started centuries before. I see a state with an enhanced education system, industries, well-planned estates and peaceful and relaxed social life. I see unemployment fully engaged.
“Anambra must become truly the Dubai of this area and of this generation with substantial influence in other states in the South-East.”
On the marginalisation of the Igbo, Professor Nwabueze recalled that “Asika warned us that amnesty is not the same thing as amnesia. Today, over 50 years after the war ended, the Federal Government had descended on Ndigbo, squeezing and persecuting us relentlessly because of the war. Dr Alex Ekwueme was clamped in Kirikiri for years by Buhari, while President Shehu Shagari was at home in Sokoto. It is significant the judges to whom Ekwueme was subjected decried his persecution.
“Later Ekwueme led the country to challenge the military in government but was denied ascending to the presidency because it was known that the cabal warned that they would organize a coup d’état if they were defied and voted him into power. We may need to mention the glass ceiling placed on us as Ndigbo. We were given nothing after the war, but a few millionaires were given only £20 to survive for a few days.
The foreign companies were then sold out to Nigerians when Ndigbo had no money to get involved in the purchase. It is today reckoned that of the 100 key government positions in the country and 25 in NNPC, Ndigbo is not included, not even one person.
“There is no Igbo man in the defence/security council, in customs, in immigration, etc. Ndigbo is indeed treated as foreigners in Nigeria and officially excluded from all positions. Asika was right. Amnesty is not the same thing as amnesia.”
“We thank Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, for his determined efforts to join the race and save our people. We pray to the good Lord to bless him.”