The Igbo socio-political group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has dissociated itself from the agitation for secession and instead opts for the restructuring of the country. The group, a representation of elders of South East, flayed the campaign launched by Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) to secede from Nigeria.
The elders insisted that the restructuring of Nigeria was the solution to the political and economic problems of the country. The attempt by the region to secede led to the three years civil war from 1967 to 1970 in which over two million people were killed. Kanu, is currently facing treason trial, but released recently following intervention by the elders.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, said in Abuja on Monday that the group believes more in a restructured Nigeria.
They want a Nigeria that has a level playing field for all sections of the country; “a Nigeria that gives each part of the country a sense of belonging’’.
“For example, in a country of 36 states, the South-East has five states and 95 local governments; while Kano State alone has 44 local governments.
“The other time, we saw the statistics of recruitment in the Department of State Services with Katsina State alone having 51 allocations.
“Yet, we have the Federal Character Commission.
“We want the FCC to investigate the recent recruitment in the DSS. Abia State got only six allocations; Enugu State, six; Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, got 51 slots.’’
He said that there was no level playing ground in Nigeria, stressing that Abia State alone produces more graduates than 10 states in the North combined, “yet you gave them only seven opportunities and gave Katsina 51’’.
“We are not saying Nigeria should be divided, but the issues these young men are talking about should be addressed. Instead, it seems they want people like Nnamdi Kanu to shut up without addressing the issues, judging by the bail conditions (they gave him).”
He said that the issue of secession should be forgone, adding that what Nigeria needs now is restructuring.