IGBO leaders have called on the Federal Government to immediately release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and other prisoners of conscience in line with the rule of law, saying that their agitation does not constitute threat to peace.
They also called for the restructuring of the nation so that Igbo that have made the “biggest sacrifice and contribution to the building of modern Nigeria” will be allowed to live and operate freely as equal citizens without discrimination.
Rising from a three-day 2016 World Igbo Summit held at Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, Igbo leaders also condemned in strong terms, the destructive activities of herdsmen and urged governors and the lawmakers in Igbo states to enact laws prohibiting open grazing in Igboland.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, which was attended by prominent Igbo people, including first class traditional rulers and co-chaired by General Ike Nwachukwu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Col. Joe Achuzia (retd.), Chief Francis Oji and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, they resolved that Ndigbo should take full responsibility for the rebuilding of Igbo economy and development.
Other resolutions, according to the communiqué read by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, are that governors in Igboland should form a joint commission for the development of their areas; that the 1999 Constitution should be repealed and a new one enacted that will recognise the inalienable rights of each constituent group to self-determination and regional autonomy as enshrined in the 1960 Independence Constitution and 1963 Republican Constitution: “Ndigbo, hereby, resolve to take full responsibility for the rebuilding of the Igbo economy and development of Ala-Igbo and hereby shall adopt the digital economy as the organising paradigm and implementation framework for the sustainable development of Ala-Igbo.
“That Igbo political leadership (elected and appointed) must act in the best interest of Ndigbo and be prepared to be held accountable by the people for all their actions and inactions; that in view of the threat by the herdsmen, which constitute present and imminent danger to peace and security in Igboland, the Igbo governors and the states assemblies should immediately legislate against any form of open grazing in Igboland, among others.”
… as minister urges Biafra agitators to follow due process
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has accused those agitating for the Republic of Biafra of using uncivilised methods, advising them to follow constitutional and diplomatic processes to achieve their aim.
The minister said that MASSOB and IPOB have the fundamental right to clamour for Biafra, “but they should be rational and not emotional in going about it.”
He spoke with newsmen in Enugu shortly after the end of a stakeholders/caucus meeting of the Enugu state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Onyeama then urged those spearheading the breakaway project to critically look at the rules relating to secession.
According to him, those agitating for Biafra “are not speaking for Ndigbo, as they do not have the mandate of the Igbo race to do so.”
He asked them to embrace dialogue rather than resorting to violence.
He, however, called on Nigerians, particularly those from the South-East, to keep supporting the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government, pointing out that the government has the capacity to tackle the current challenges facing the nation.
In his remarks, the Chairman of APC in the state, Dr. Ben Nwoye, assured the national leadership of the party that the state chapter was highly committed to wrestling power from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2019.
Nwoye said that existing political structures are being oiled and strengthened at all levels in the state, calling on true democrats and progressives to embrace the party to ensure a better Enugu State.