Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has called on the federal government to look into the plights of the South-east geopolitical zone and address the issue of marginalisation.
Umahi, who made the call during the 2018 Democracy Day celebration at Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki noted that he believed in one united Nigeria founded on equity, justice and fairness.
He warned members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) not to hold any protest in the state, as any activities held would be decisively dealt with.
The governor noted that though the South-east governors support the proscription of IPOB, it however does not mean that they are happy with the alleged marginalisation of the zone in the affairs of the nation.
He, however, emphasised the need for the zone to constructively engage the federal government on the issue.
Umahi, who condemned the sit-at-home canvassed by IPOB, said the method being deployed by the pro Biafran group is inimical to the peace and development of the region.
He warned that any trader in the state who fails to open his/her shopÂ WednesdayÂ in solidarity with IPOB and MASSOB would be made to forfeit the shops to the state government.
Umahi said: â€œAnd so, any trader that closes shop will forfeit the shop forever. Anybody that flouts this order will be dealt with. I ask Ebonyians to go about their businesses freely and peacefully.
â€œLet me say that when we the South-east governors say that we donâ€™t want the activities of IPOB does not mean that we are very happy with the marginalisation of the South-east in the affairs of our nation.
“What we are saying is that IPOB is not doing it the right way. The right thing was what Ohaneze did in the comity of Igbo sons and daughters. We do not need second colonisation. We do not need distraction. We want to strive, we want to continue. We believe in God. We will do everything to change our condition.
â€œWe call on the federal government to look into the plights of the South-east people and address the issue of marginalisation. We believe in one Nigeria that is found on equity and fairness and fair play.”