By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has called on the federal government to dialogue with the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu to douse the growing ethnic-based tensions in the country.
In the same vein, Fayose canvassed the review of the revenue formula of the country, argued that the lopsided formula only favoured the federal government at the expense of the states, adding that this remains the only panacea to the dwindling economies of many of the states and their inabilities to pay salaries.
Speaking on some national issues yesterday, the governor advised the federal government to be equitable, fair and just to all sections of the country, especially, the Igbo people, whom he said had been grossly marginalised.
Condemning the October 1 ultimatum issued to Igbo by some northern youth leaders to leave the North, the governor said the federal government must take steps that will address the agitation of the people.
He said: â€œAs much as secession is not an option, the handlers of our democracy must be equitable, fair and just to everyone.
â€œThe Igbo have continued to suffer because of the perceived role of Emeka Ojukwu. If we say past governments didnâ€™t do well what has the present government done differently?
â€œI agree that secession is not desirable but there must be justice and equity. When people are being killed or vilified, you must expect a reaction. No region should begin to use power to oppress another. If Nigeria is truly one, it will not get to a stage that one region will openly call on another to leave its land.
â€œThe Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is doing his best but that is not enough. We must remember that those who make positive change impossible make violent change inevitable. A situation where a section will be suffering forever because of their role in the civil war is not fair.â€
Suggesting the way forward, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governorsâ€™ Forum called for a review of â€œthe revenue sharing formula because it is not a true reflection of our collective interest. For the country to move forward the states should takeover economically.â€
He also urged the federal governments to dialogue with Kanu and release other members of the IPOB in detention.
â€œThe federal government must purge itself of some responsibilities because the actual development is at grassroots. The states and the local governments are nodal points of developments.
â€œThe federal government should dialogue with the aggrieved and forge ahead. Using force will not help because some of those things they thought had died in the past are now rearing their ugly heads.
â€œIt is no doubt that Kanu is representing the interest of the younger generation of Igbo. Instead of fighting him, they should release them and invite him for a dialogue.
â€œHis struggle has become an ideological movement with massive followers irrespective of what some people are telling the federal government to curry a favour, which is momentary. By the action of this government they have made Kanu more popular.
â€œWithout mincing words, the present government has divided Nigeria more than ever. It is the legitimate right of the people to agitate if they feel they are wrongly treated. You canâ€™t get peace where there is no justice.
â€œNigeria belongs to all of us. It is the wish of some people that an Igbo man does not become the president but this is against the spirit and letters of our constitution.â€