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Nigerians Have Marginalized Igbos Through Collective Punishment – Shehu Sani

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Former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani has opined that Igbos have been suffering a collective punishment in Nigeria.

This is as the former lawmaker added that the Igbos have suffered marginalization since the civil war which took place between 1967 and 1970.

He added that the marginalisation has affected the political fortunes of the region but the Igbos have proven to be dependable and patriotic.

Sani made the submission on Saturday in Kaduna at a meeting organised by the Association of Eze-Ndigbo in Diaspora.

He described the marginalisation as a “collective punishment” from Nigerians.

“There has been a systemic exclusion and marginalisation of your people, stemming from the historical Biafra war — this is a collective punishment,” he said.

Sani recalled that prior to the civil war, a Fulani man, Faruq Altine was elected a mayor in the south-east.

“That act alone (appointment of a Fulani man as mayor) sends a message to Nigeria that whatever happens subsequently is not the fault of Igbos,” he said.

“Today, Igbos are being seen as unNigerian, unpatriotic, forgetting the feat Altine achieved in the region.

“Most of those who want to divide this country aren’t picking their reasons from the sky. They are building their reasons on injustice and inequity meted to them. The only way to defeat a secessionist who doesn’t believe in one Nigeria is by giving justice to them.

“Each time we have a government, they give juicy positions to other tribes, excluding the Igbos. When you exclude an Igbo man from appointment, you are proving those who don’t believe in one Nigeria right.

“Since the end of the civil war, Igbo have been distrusted and regarded as unfaithful and unpatriotic Nigerians. The violence going on in the country is capable of thwarting the stability and peace of the country.”

The former lawmaker therefore noted that partpof how to address the injustice is to ensure the rotation of the presidency in 2023.

“There can’t be peace and stability when positions in government become hereditary,” Sani said.

“As we move towards 2023, rotation of power is key to peace and unity.”