173 views | Akanimo Sampson | November 9, 2020
Apparently worried by the undying agitation for Biafra by Igbo youths around the world, the Buhari administration has been engaging with leaders of Eastern Nigeria in a seemingly desperate bid to abort the agitation.
The latest Presidential delegation on the disturbing issue of Biafra was led by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.
Leaders of Eastern Nigeria, however, yielded to an “indivisible Nigeria’’ but on some conditions. According to them, a new Nigeria that can abort the quest of Igbo youths for Biafra must be built on ‘’love, fairness, equity and justice.”
Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State says, “we stand for an indivisible and united Nigeria, built on love, fairness, equity and justice. We believe that under this platform – Nigeria; we are bigger and stronger.”
While they are lauding the Buhari administration on the matured and responsive manner it handled all issues relating to the EndSARS protest, Umahi adds, “we thank President Buhari for the speed and restraint with which he handled the EndSARS protest, which has engendered peace throughout the country, especially the South-East. We, therefore, request the President to look into demands of various groups and youths with a view to resolving them.’’
The Igbo leaders are calling for a joint operation by security agencies and local vigilant groups to flush out criminals gangs from all forests in the zone.
They are also calling on the Buhari administration to continue its support and diplomatic push for the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in her quest for the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
In a statement after a closed door meeting with the Gambari team, Umahi commended Abuja for its timely interventions in Akanu Ibiam International Airport rehabilitation as well as intervention in road infrastructures in the region that is a hotbed for Biafra agitation.
“We are grateful for the attention given to the second Niger Bridge and completion and inauguration of the Zik’s mausoleum. However, we urged the Federal Government to give attention to the completion of the current road projects within the zone’’, they said.
The governors also pledged to provide money to compensate those affected by the #EndSARS protest and rebuild police facilities; while engaging the youths constantly to forestall any violent development in the region.
According to the Igbo governors, “we have plans to set up various empowerment programmes to gainfully engage the youths. The governors also plan to mainstream the youths in their governance to give them a sense of belonging. We thank leaders of other zones for protecting our people and their businesses within their areas; We pledge to do same in the entire South-East.”
Among those at the meeting were Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Hope Uzodinma of Imo and Deputy Gov. Nkem Okeke, who represented Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
Others are Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, Sen. Sam Egwu, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, representing South-East elders; Chief Nnia Nwodo, President of Ohanaze Ndigbo Worldwide; Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma and House of Representatives’ members as well as traditional, religious and youth leaders
Apart from Gambari, on the Presidential delegation were also Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Uchenna Ogah; among others.