Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
President General of apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo at the weekend declared that Ndigbo would never be involved in any other war for secession from the country again.
He said they would rather partner other ethnic groups with similar ideology, to continuously engage the authorities through diplomatic warfare, in ensuring that Nigeria is restructured into a true federation as envisioned by the founding fathers of the country.
The Ohanaeze leader spoke at Enugu Sports Club, during the maiden edition of â€œNkata Umu Ibeâ€, a monthly distinguished Speaker series organised by Centre For Memories, a pro-Igbo organisation.
The former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu delivered the maiden lecture with the theme â€˜Igbo Ekunie: Lessons from Post-War Recovery in South East Nigeriaâ€™.
Nwodo also at the event said the people of Southern and Middle-belt regions of Nigeria will not vote for any presidential candidate whose party does not have restructuring in its manifesto during the 2019 general elections.
The Ohanaeze chieftain commended the guest speaker, stressing that, he gave a concise, comprehensive and incisive detail into Igbo history, her circumstances arising from the war and post war constitutional repression of her spirit of industry.
â€œSince we began the Southern and Middle belt Forum, the ruling party has just remembered that it promised Nigeria a restructuring. It has activated a committee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State (Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai), and it has finally come to admit that we can have regional police, that we can have sovereignty over our natural resources including oil. However it expressed reservations for offshore oil to be controlled by the federal government. They have never conceded these before.
â€œWe are now pushing to say, anyone who wants to govern Nigeria in 2019, your manifesto should include restructuring; we will vote for no one who does not want restructuring. On the 21st of May we are going to have a South East summit on restructuring in which we give the South East Nigeria for restructuring.
â€œAnd in our view, any war to be pursued solely as Igbos will not be as efficiently prosecuted as one in which we pursued with people who now agreed in our point of view that the agreement our forefathers had for a federation in 1963 was overthrown by the war and our federation became a unitary system in which the federal government became the Almighty,â€ he said.
Earlier, the guest Speaker, Prof. Odinkalu expressed regret that Ndigbo lost a lot during the war, both materially and psychologically, even as the federal government failed to fund and implement the three Rs (Reconciliation, rehabilitation and re-integration), as being witnessed today in North East with the North East Development Commission, which was established following the devastation of the region by Boko Haram insurgents.
He said, â€œThinking along the economy therefore we have got to give our young people the skill to be able to build solidarity, to be able to build communities, to outreach the rest of the country and give us the confidence to coexist in the rest of southern Nigeria in a rational economy driven by skills and enterprise.â€