The Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has assured President Muhammadu Buhari that the South-East region will not disintegrate from the country despite the array of secessionist activities.
The group, however, urged the President to restore the sense of belonging in Nigeria which has lost especially in the region adding that equity, justice and fairness are needed to preserve the country.
Ohanaeze disclosed this in a statement read by its President-General, Prof. George Obiozor during the President’s visit to Imo State to commission some projects executed by Governor Hope Uzodinma on Thursday.
Obiozor, while he lauded the nation’s leader on some capital projects he achieved in the region such as second Niger Bridge, he still begged him on other aspects to look into.
He said, “Mr. President, in spite of all the threats of secessionism or separatism facing the country, there is no doubt that no secessionist element can succeed in Nigeria provided there is good governance based on equity, justice and fairness to all the citizens. Ndigbo are committed to Nigerian unity and there is news for those trying to push us out of Nigeria. Ndigbo in Nigeria are like fish in the ocean, no matter how rough the storm is, it cannot drive the fish out of the ocean.
“Mr. President, it is in this context, that we see a new dawn in your distinguished presence in Igboland and believe that on your return to Abuja the significance and substance of this visit will form a new foundation of a platform for meaningful dialogue on critical issues of concern to the Igbo Nation.
“Your Excellency, the most urgent and imperative need of Ndigbo today is security. The security of Ndigbo in Nigeria and beyond has become a compelling primary responsibility of serious concern for Ndigbo. Regrettably our South-East Zone has recently become a theatre of conflict, negating the peace-loving nature of our people.
“In this context Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls for the establishment of a zonal and state police apparatus to support and complement the existing Federal Security architecture. It is in this same vein that Ohanaeze Ndigbo, appeals to you, Mr. President, to see to the release of Igbo youths detained by various security agencies across the country.
“Mr. President, we appreciate the infrastructural work being undertaken by the Federal Government in the South East such as the 2nd Niger bridge. It symbolises the unity and bridge across the various regions of the country.
“However, the South-East zone is in dire need of more infrastructure sponsored by the Federal Government amongst these are roads, bridges, railways and ports. It is the considered view of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, one that is also shared by the Igbo people that federal investments in these critical areas will revitalize the economy and will have the tangential effect of dousing the youth restiveness and unemployment in the zone.
“In conclusion, Mr. President, nothing is more important to the Igbos in Nigeria today, more than the restoration of serious sense of belonging and the spirit of Nigeria’s founding fathers based on one nation, one destiny. And we believe this is possible through Devolution of Power ensuring a sense of balance in our political system.”