Igbo presently under siege in Nigeria, says ILT/

Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) has bemoaned the alleged discrimination of Igbo in Nigeria, saying the region is presently under siege in the country.

The Professor Ben Nwabueze-led body made this known during its visit to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.

ILT Deputy Leader, Professor Chiweyite Ejike, who represented Professor Nwabueze, called for collaborative efforts by everybody from the region to salvage the Igbo nation.

The group also called on South-East Governors to key into its Perspectives In National Development (PIND) proposal to chart a new course for the Igbo.

The group said: For several decades, within the Nigerian Federation, Ndigbo can be described as a nation in desperate search for acceptance as full citizens, a people deprived of the basic appreciation of their sacrifices in the task of founding and nurturing the Nigerian State. This unsatisfactory situation has continued unabated. The problem of how to accord Ndigbo their rightful place in the scheme of things in Nigeria persists and has continued to grow in intensity with each succeeding Government. The impression is gained, that an urgent need exists for an aggressive rethinking targeted at solving the problems of our last-in-the-queue status in Nigeria.

‘’Our position paper (PIND) has advocated for a new operational paradigm that would allow for a plausible mechanism for developing new ideas and action plans on what requires to be done to advance the collective endeavours of Ndigbo to transform the Igbo homeland into a modern political entity capable of addressing satisfactorily the economic well being and industrial transformation of the Igbo States of Nigeria.’’

Suggesting the way forward, Ejike said: ‘’I should like to reiterate a few of the core messages to Ndigbo which we in the ILT have constantly and consistently placed before our Governments and People over the past five years:

‘’The Igbo people, particularly in their homeland and all over Nigeria would appear to be a people under siege. Consequently our leaders, especially our political leaders and heads of governments need to adequately buckle-up and provide bold, daring and decisive leadership. We have heard it said that–the Igbo have no Kings! This is not correct. Yes, we abhor absolute monarchs, but we do have and indeed yearn for kings: philosopher kings; humble kings, even-handed kings, rational and wise kings, objective kings and kings that exhibit deep intellect, courage and passion for solidarity and integrity.

‘’The ILT has repeatedly stated that we as Ndigbo should not see the Presidency of Nigeria as our priority. We demand for a knowledge-driven, rationally restructured Federal Nigeria where every component nation is treated equally and allowed sufficient space in the political governance architecture of the country which we have contributed so much to build.

‘’We stand for a Nigeria where power is appropriately devolved; a Nigeria in which Ndiigbo and other nationalities are not treated as “Enemies” who can never be trusted to form part of the core power structure. A people under quarantine and perpetually under surveillance cannot be expected to access opportunities needed for their desired development and self-fulfilment. We stand for a new peoples’ constitution which would address these and other critical concerns.

‘’We advise all our home states’ governors to double their efforts to unify and develop the homeland; quickly close the humongous infrastructural deficits in the South-East zone and embark upon such Public and Private projects capable of engendering massive job creations for our teeming unemployed youths through rapid industrialization,upgraded food security initiatives,first-rate digital education facilities and e-commerce. Nobody is going to do that for us.

‘’The ILT enjoins our Governors’ Forum to promote appropriate States Joint Services initiatives particularly targeting enhanced security and the early development of strategically important projects. Chief among such are Deep-water Port-Facilities in the South East and thereby quicken the tempo of productive efficiency of our internal and external trades.’’


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