Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Notable Igbo elders led by renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN), yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a Constituent Assembly that will midwife a new constitution for the country before the 2019 general elections.
The elders who operate under the umbrella of Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) made the call in a communiqué released after their meeting in Enugu.
They said that a new constitution for the country had become necessary in view of the obvious flaws in the 1999 constitution, stressing that using the same document for the coming elections will be counter-productive.
The group expressed worry at the rate of killings in the country, saying that it has assumed genocidal proportions and portrayed the country as a “failed state”.
It called on the federal government to urgently address the situation before the next elections.
The elders also expressed concern that the administration of the country has made the fight against corruption its cardinal programme, regretting however, that it has been made a “selective prosecution of political opponents” from evidence available to it.
“The Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) feels that the solution to corruption is to resolve political corruption which includes nepotism, appointment on basis of religious faith, protection of loyalists who are known to be manifestly corrupt, and expenditure of public funds
without budgeting”, the statement said.
On the economy, the leaders lamented that the dysfunctional state of the system has relegated the country into poverty. They recommended that steps should be taken to set up food production and animal husbandry like the type promoted by the late Premier of the Eastern Region, Mike Okpara. ºThe Igbo leaders called for the immediate de-proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
They noted that members of the organisation do not carry arms but engages in protests, a development they added, was within their legitimate rights.
It noted that other organisations such as herdsmen who carry arms have not been proscribed.