By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday lamented that the people of the South-east geo-political zone are being relegated in the scheme of things in the country, insisting that unless they are given their due respect and share in the allocation of the nation’s resources and political positions, the nation would not make the desired progress.
The lawmaker who spoke when he played host to the people of Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State who paid him a solidarity visit, said the Igbo people had made enormous contributions to the overall development and unity of Nigeria but sadly have not received commensurate attention.
He said until the leadership of Nigeria has a rethink and respects Igbos, the country can never be the same.
He noted that Ndigbo are being constantly provoked “by the government of this country.
“Let me remind you that we are going through a difficult period in Igbo land. As Ndigbo, we are going through trying period, we are being provoked everyday by the government of this country in the way they treat our people especially the marginalisation going on at the federal level by the federal government.
“We are also aware of the contributions of our people towards the development of this country. The Nigeria Movie Industry which is the major export we have, Igbo’s pioneer that industry, in sports Igbo’s are all over the world doing the country proud. When you see Nigeria national team playing, 80 percent most times are Igbos and we are happy to do that,” he said.
Ekweremadu who said Ndigbo are more Nigerian than any tribe, disclosed that “All the remote villages in Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri and everywhere you will see Igbos who are patent medical dealers, you will see Igbos selling plastic, you will see Igbos providing jobs not only to their people but to the rest of Nigeria.”
He said Ndigbo has done so much to the country and deserve some respect, stressing that until “we get our respect Nigeria will never be the same. So any person who thinks that Igbos will be relegated and there will be peace in this country is joking. We believe in equity, we believe in justice.
“This country is big enough for everybody. Nigeria needs energy of Igbos, they need our creativity, they need the enterprise of Igboman and we can combine the attributes with the other nations and Nigeria will be great. So we will continue to work on this to ensure inclusiveness in the governance of this country. We will never accept the situation where Igbo people and indeed any tribes will be excluded from the governance of this country.
“This country belongs to all of us. So it may be dark today but I want assure you that there will light at the end of the tunnel. We have already left Egypt and we will never go back to Egypt. Definitely we will get to the promise land unlike the people of Israel all of us will be alive when we get to the promise land so am not shaking and don’t be afraid my people, we believe in this country, we believe in free enterprise, we believe in justice and we also believe in equity and that we ensure that this country will get.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ezeagu Local Government Area, Hon. Chidi Ezinwa, appealed to Ekweremadu to remember their council in the scheme of things, lamenting that erosion menace had remained a major challenge to their people.
He also urged the lawmaker to ensure that some road projects attracted to their area by a former member of the House of Representatives for Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency, Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi are not abandoned.