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Ohanaeze List ‘Proofs’ That The Federal Government Is Marginalizing Igbos In Nigeria

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Ohanaeze List 'Proofs' That The Federal Government Is Marginalizing Igbos In Nigeria

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has accused the federal government of marginalizing Igbos in Nigeria.

The President General of the group, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, made the allegation in a statement released yesterday.

He listed some of the points to support his allegation to include the reduced number of states in the South East compared to other regions in the country, least number of ministerial slots even against the federal character principle, the continued incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and destruction of Igbo businesses and property.

Iwuanyanwu also praised the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, as a respected voice of the region, adding that the elder statesman who has been fighting injustice, is mandated to speak for Southern leaders.

“South East is the only geo-political zone in Nigeria that has got only five states whereas other zones have between six and seven states

“Forty-eight ministers were appointed by Mr. President. By law of Federal character, Southeast should have eight ministers but we have only five ministers while some other zones have up to 10.

“All the efforts to develop railway infrastructure in Nigeria, nothing was done in the South-east in spite of the fact that our people are traders who travel a lot.

“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been incarcerated for many years and every effort to plead his release met with failure, while many other Nigerians arrested and accused of similar offence have all been released.

“According to the Federal Character Commission, the presidency is zoned to rotate between North and South instead of rotating through six geo-political zones. This has made it impossible for Southeast to produce a president when two large zones come together to deny the zone the opportunity. The presidency was zoned to the South. The Southern and Middle-Belt met, deliberated and resolved to zone it to the southeast. In their own opinion, justice demanded that it should be zoned to the southeast; they therefore zoned it to the southeast. Later on, southwest candidate emerged in the APC, being the political party in power.

“Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders’ Forum resolved to support an Igbo candidate. This is how the support for Peter Obi came up. From the result of the election, Mr Peter Obi won clearly in Lagos, Delta, Abuja and many other places including the Middle-Belt. I must confess that the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders’ Forum has nothing against Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They were convinced in all honesty that it was the turn of the Southeast to produce the president.

“When the result was announced, Tinubu was declared winner, and the Southeast candidate went to court to seek redress.

However, as the Supreme Court of Nigeria affirmed Mr. President’s victory, as law-abiding citizens, who believe in the rule of law, we congratulated Mr. President and promised to give him every support he requires to rebuild Nigeria for good.

“It might interest anyone who cares to know that we have manifested this in practical terms. For example, when many parts of Nigeria were going on demonstration, Southeast was approached to join but as a leader of southeast, I made a proclamation telling my people not to join and they harkened to my voice and never joined the protest.

“We, in the Southeast have made substantial investments in many parts of the country and it is in our interest to assist President Tinubu to succeed. Any failure by Mr President would be a calamity to Igbo who have made huge investments in many places in the country,” Iwuanyanwu stated.

The Ohanaeze leader used the opportunity to call on President Bola Tinubu to address the injustice and challenges the Igbos are facing in the country.

He said: “I had at one of our meetings of Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders’ Forum brought up the problems of obvious marginalisation of my people by the Federal Government and the forum expressed their sympathy to the Igbo. I remember vividly a communique was issued at one of those meetings calling for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose continued detention is causing problems in the Southeast.

“After the 2023 general election, we experienced the worst situation which after Peter Obi won in Lagos, Abuja and some other states, a group of people held a meeting and boasted that they will cripple Igbo and make sure they don’t succeed in business and politics. The activities of this group were glaringly obvious in Lagos where after Obi’s victory in Lagos State, every effort was made to stop Igbo from voting. At times violence was used to stop them. Igbo were abused and threatened to leave Lagos.

“Some markets in Lagos state dominated by Igbos were either closed down or demolished. I held a meeting with the leadership of Lagos State, I am happy the matter had slowed down.

“An Igbo man, HRH Eze Nwajiagu who was arrested in Lagos State for no justifiable reason is still in detention in Lagos. His only offence was the statement he made which if the same statement was made by persons of other tribes, would not be taken seriously. We expect Mr. President to look into this matter in order to forestall future occurrence.

“We also woke up one morning in Abuja to hear that a spiraling estate owned by an Igbo man, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu (Ikukuoma) has been totally demolished. This matter had been reported to me. I requested all relevant information regarding the demolition. From my findings, due process of law was not taken before this demolition. We also appeal to Mr. President to investigate this case of demolition of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s estate in Abuja.”

Iwuanyanwu, however, thanked President Tinubu for appointing Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, as the Chief of Naval Staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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