A delegation of Igbo leaders met with the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in Enugu, yesterday, and restated desire for the restructuring of Nigeria; which they believe would guarantee equity and justice.
They commended the Nwodo-led Ohanaeze leadership for his enlightened, focused and selfless leadership of Ndigbo; in the trying period before and during the last elections.
The delegation, which was led by Senator Ben Obi, included former governors Achike Udenwa and Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Azu Agboti, first chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu and former ministers, Dubem Onyia and Prof. Alphonsus Nwosu.
Prof. Nwosu, who addressed journalists after the meeting, said the visit of the delegation was to thank Chief Nwodo “for standing firm on the priority Igbo position for the restructuring of Nigeria, based on greater devolution of power and resources from the Centre, to the Federating units” and also, praised the president general for ignoring saboteurs of Igbo cause because “he has been vindicated by the massive Igbo votes along the direction that Ohanaeze had endorsed.”
The delegation also pledged their personal, unflinching support and loyalty for the president general and Ohanaeze Ndigbo; “to ensure that this task of restructuring Nigeria for the benefit of all citizens is accomplished.
“The delegation was proud that the principled stand of Ndigbo on restructuring was galvanised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, under the very capable leadership of the president general and this resulted in the massive turnout of Ndigbo at the last general elections, not only in the South East, but throughout Nigeria, and vowed to assist the president general to ensure that Nigeria shall continue to feel the weight of Igbo votes until restructuring is accomplished, and those who continued to ignore Igbo votes in Nigeria do so at their risk.
“The delegation pleaded with the president general to ignore the activities by a few Ndigbo, to sabotage the collective Igbo view since the Igbo votes strongly endorsed his position, but frowned seriously at the sell-out of Ohanaeze Ndigbo by the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and urged that he should be strongly sanctioned.
“The Igbo leaders reiterated that the task of restructuring Nigeria into a nation that works for all its citizens and not just for only a section of its citizens, remains the top priority agenda of Ndigbo in Nigeria, and, as the Igbo adage says; ‘the jaws do not rest until what is being chewed is finished.’ The president general must ensure that this burning desire of Ndigbo, for the restructuring of Nigeria, continues to remain on the front burner of Nigerian politics.”
The task for Ndigbo now, according to the leaders, is to design the post-general election agenda, to maintain Igbo solidarity, such that the Igbo post-election agenda is not distracted by those lobbying for positions in government and those positioning to be president in 2023.
“The Igbo wisdom of struggling for where to sleep before fighting for the mat to sleep on should guide our post election strategy,” he warned.
The former minister further said that the delegation was exceedingly proud of Ndigbo; on how they voted at the last elections, “where ministers and prominent Igbo APC members found that the community is always bigger than the individual and it must be humbling for them to have lost at their polling booths.
“The icing on the cake for Ndigbo was the election of Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, which clearly showed that Ndigbo are resolved to start redressing the wrongs of the last few years from inside Igboland.
“It was clear that Ndigbo are not afraid and will not be afraid in Nigeria; whether in Owerri, Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Aba, Enugu, Warri or Asaba, to express their full citizenship rights and their dissatisfaction with the way they are being treated politically in Nigeria,” Nwosu rounded off.
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