Senator Theodore Orji (PDP-Abia Central), a former Abia State Governor, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other dissident groups in Nigeria.
He made this known while speaking to newsmen ahead of his 70th birthday anniversary this week.
Theodore Orji identified restructuring as panacea for the manifest marginalisation in the country, adding that a major part of the restructuring includes resource control.
The lawmaker also stated that the South-East would negotiate with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the region.
Orji said: “If there are dissident voices, call them and discuss with them and find out how you can bring them in and that is what will solve the problem we are facing now. Restructuring is what everybody is shouting.”
“The issue of resource control should also be addressed because the resources are coming from the same people who are agitating.
“You won’t expect us to keep quiet when we are producing and you are not giving us enough.
“Governor Nyesom Wike is shouting every day because the Niger Delta people are not getting the required attention they require as oil-producing region. We know the areas that are sensitive,” he said.
On whether the dissidents he referred to include the proscribed IPOB, the Abia Central lawmaker said: “Yes, of course.
“Is there anything bad in discussing with IPOB? If you don’t talk with them, they will continue to give you trouble. You discuss with them.”
On the Igbo presidency in 2023 under the PDP, Orji said the PDP must accede to the yearnings and aspirations of the South East.
He said: “It is a party affair. It will be sorted out by the party. We are members of the party.
“So, when the argument about zoning comes, we will address it. We can’t be happy when other states have six states and we have five.
“It shows that we are marginalised. We are cheated. That is what is causing the agitation in the region.
“Some groups are agitating that the zone should be a country on its own. Others are demanding restructuring because it is glaring that the South East is being marginalized.
“If you treat me fairly like you treat other persons and I’m convinced that you are sincere, I will not complain.
“It is when I look around me and I see that I am being marginalised and treated like a second class citizen that would make people be agitating.
“When the time comes for the PDP to determine zoning for the 2023 presidential election, the party will do the needful.
“We will sort it out at the party level. We will present our case and the party would listen. PDP is strong in the South East, if not for any other reason, the party should listen to us.”