The Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to exercise restraint in handling the various groups clamouring for the actualization of Biafra.
The President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, in a statement, said dialogue was the only way out of the various agitations.
He called on the Federal government to address various cries of marginalization in the South-East zone.
The statement read in part: “We are circumstantially compelled to take a definitive stand and position on issues that have the ability to threaten our corporate existence as one indivisible nation.
“Following agitations of neglect in the political appointments made thus far by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration from our compatriots in the south east, the needless call for the secession from Nigeria by MASSOB, the treasonable felony been perpetrated by one Nnamdi Kanu, under the aegis of Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), and his Radio Biafra, his arrest and the simultaneous coordinated protest rallies that followed as the its aftermath, is of great concern to us and calls for caution and deeper reflection for us as people and nation.
“To the extent that we are not satisfied in the happenings in the polity particularly as it affects our region,it remains imperative that we submit our yearnings with a voice of reason. It stands as an immutable and sacrosanct fact that the unified and continuous existence of Nigeria as an indivisible entity cannot be compromised on any score.
“The hyperactive agitators and proponents of secession perhaps have not sat down to count the cost of a divided nation which will borne by the igbos nation particularly our Youth whose future and strenuously built investments stand at risk.
“The business concerns of igbo businessmen and women extend across all geopolitical zones of the country the north and south,these meticulously built investments running into trillions of naira cannot be mortgaged on the plinth of unbridled sentimental proclivities,As we believe that Mr.President is a listening Leader and we can achieve more through peaceful dialogue.
“The snippets of agitations and disenchantment building up in certain quarters of the igbo nation are not to be entirely faulted as it is the result years of compounded neglect.”
Ohanaeze, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari “to effectuate a more proportionate employment policy in favour of the igbo youth.
“Despite the oil producing status of Abia, Anambra and Imo States, the youths from these concerned States of Abia,Anambra and Imo have been consistently excluded from the Amnesty program of federal government which several Niger delta youth presently enjoy. It is on this note that we call on Mr.President to ensure that the Amnesty program is extended to the youth of these oil producing South eastern states.
“We call on Mr.President to correct the lopsided appointments made thus far by ensuring the appointment of more igbo citizens into sensitive government position as Head of government boards and Agencies.May we on this note make our pressing demand that the Head of the Civil Service of the federation be appointed from the South-East to ensure balance and equity in the top hierarchy of our nation.”
The group further urged the federal government to expedite action on the dilapidated federal roads and other infrastructure in the zone, adding that “the Enugu International airport should be fitted with the requisite facilities to meet with international standards. The Onitsha River port is underutilized and needs to be fully on stream”.