By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), a body of Igbo eders led by renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben. Nwabueze and the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) yesterday in Enugu dismissed as false insinuations in some quarters that the military clampdown on Biafran agitatorsÂ had ended the clamour for restructuring in the country.
The groups while warning that the delay in restructuring the country would throw up dire consequences also disagreed with the narrative that the South-east had been pacified â€œforcefully and violentlyâ€ by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement by ILT Deputy Secretary, Elliot Uko, who doubles as the Secretary of ECA and made available to journalists in Enugu, the two groups said about 99 per cent of Igbo Youths were angry with Nigeria.
Uko said the celebrations in the â€œvilla, that certain elders have helped them quench the restructuring gale blowing through the land up till a few months ago is fiction.
â€œYes, a military invasion was carried out in second week of September at Afaraukwu, a huge propaganda onslaught was unleashed to force down a particular narrative. Yes agitators were declared terrorists.Â â€œYes agitators were also proscribed. Yes people in certain quarters clinked champagne glasses and congratulated themselves and mocked the angry youths that their agents among our people have helped them, as usual, put down the agitations.
â€œBut nothing could be further from the truth. No matter the conspiracies in high quarters, no matter the complicity of the so called leaders to paralyse the demand for restructuring, and by extension, ensure the sustenance of the unjust status quo, truth is, resources deployed to save the status quo by attempting to crush the agitation to restructure Nigeria, is a wasted effort.â€
According to them, branding oppressed, frustrated youths terrorists and proscribing them without addressing the real cause of their anger, which is the weak structure of unitary Nigeria and the 1999 military constitution, was akin to treating the symptoms of a disease without addressing the virus responsible for the disease.
â€œProscribing them or branding them terrorist will never solve the problem. Voting huge money to block them and drive government narrative in the media is unhelpful.
â€œFake measures can only offer temporary relief and help officials who packaged the proposal to crush the boys, smile to the bank. All through history, all over the world, such fake measures has never truly restored peace. It can only drive the angry agitators underground.
â€œWe are hereby giving notice, that the agitation is not dead, the agitators have not been raptured to heaven, they are bitter, angry, and their next move unpredictable. Those deliberately delaying the restructuring of Nigeria are merely sowing the wind. We all will reap the whirlwind sooner or later.
â€œThe impression that the agitationÂ for secession has been crushed is false. Only an early engagement of the angry youths in a dialogue and the restructuring of Nigeria can guarantee peace.â€