By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Foremost constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze has stated that the Igbos were not interested in the presidency of Nigeria, but to have the country restructured.
Nwabueze met with the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at his country home in Atani, Ogbaru Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State.
Nwabueze, who consolidated on the previous peace meeting between Ohaneze and IPOB held in Enugu, said there was need to consolidate on the existing peace between both groups as a way of forging a common front among Igbos.
“The primary need of Ndigbo now is restructuring not Igbo presidency. We want a restructured Nigeria, that is the only way we get what we want, and every zone would be satisfied. If Nigeria is restructured, that will go a long way to satisfy our demands.
“We don’t want Igbo presidency. As the country is today, we cannot get anything until Nigeria is restructured. We can begin to talk about Igbo presidency only when Nigeria is restructured,” Nwabueze said.
The meeting, which was held behind closed door, had President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Nnia Nwodo; Emeritus Dean Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev Dr. Maxwell Anikwenwa, and Aloy Ejimakor, counsel to IPOB who represented the organisation.
Nwabueze briefed journalists after the meeting, saying: “Leaders can only succeed if the followers are with them. We will not be united if followers are disenchanted with the leadership.
“There is trouble in Nigeria, we do not know what will happen in future, but we can predict and we know there is problem.
“We love Nigeria but the leaders of the country are not doing the right thing. We are not in control of anything in Nigeria, it is for this reason that we need to come together and be united.
“We have no control of anything in Nigeria and if we lose control of ourselves, we are finished, and we will not let it happen while we are alive.”
He said there was so much disunity in Nigeria presently, and the essence of the gathering was to make everyone understand the need for peace to reign.
He told journalists that the meeting was a fruitful one, and that IPOB was asking for the federal government to rescind its decision to proscribe it, and that Ohaneze Ndigbo and other leaders of the zone have resolved to hold another meeting with South-east governors to put pressure on the federal government to de-proscribe it.
“Their (IPOB) major worry was to get the federal government to lift its proscription order on them. We have promised to liaise with the state governors to do so in a later meeting that will hold on August 8,” he added.