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By Ikenna Aniagboso

Awka, May 23, 2018 (MOI) Ndi Igbo at a South Eastern Summit held at the Dr Alex Ekwueme Square took a unanimous stand to endorse the restructuring of the Nigerian federation.

A presentation on the position of Ndi Igbo, which has been dubbed “Ekwueme Square Declaration’’ was read by Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo.

According to him the position among other things, demanded for a new Constitution for the country to spell out relationship among the component units.

He stressed that the presidential system of government will be retained but with certain amendments; single 6-year tenure was canvassed for the president and governors.

Under the new arrangement, provision would be made for six vice presidents, with each representing a geopolitical zone and to be assigned an important ministry as part of their portfolio. This is aimed at reflecting fairness and equity.

It also provided for rotation of the president among the six geopolitical zones.

The position equally canvassed for the same number of states for each of the six geopolitical zones.

It recommended an allotment of offices and sharing of resources based on equality of geopolitical zones.

The position then, called for scrapping of the concept of state of origin and replacing same by state of residence.

It recommended that state government should be saddled with the responsibility of managing the natural resources residual in such states.

This, Soludo, noted would mean that such states should pay appropriate taxes to the Federal Government.

In this historic and epochal event, Ndi Igbo, with one voice, one mind and without dissent, adopted the presentation.

Supporting the Igbo position, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu observed that history has been made and that decisions have been taken to shape the future of Igbos and Nigerians at large.

The Chairman, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, declared the total support of Ohaneze over the declaration.

According to him, this declaration is the aggregation of solutions to all the problems and struggles of Ndi Igbo and every other ethnic group perceived to have been oppressed and marginalised within the Nigerian polity.

Endorsing the declaration, the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu called on Ndi Igbo to rise in unity to protect their heritage.

He, then, re-assured that he will seek a synergy with his colleagues at the National Assembly to properly articulate the position of Ndi Igbo and all other ethnic nationalities in the country.

Ekweremadu pledged to personally pursue this goal and ensure that results are reached speedily.

Representing the Niger Delta region, elder statesman, Chief E.K. Clarke re-echoed the support of the Niger-Delta people to the declaration.

The nonagenarian decried the marginalisation and oppression of Ndi Igbo and his people in Nigeria for many years.

He observed that youths who have taken up the struggle of emancipating the people of Nigeria are being gagged and oppressed by the government.

Clarke cited IPOB as an example and vehemently spoke against the proscription of the group.

According to him government should speedily revoke the proscription, so as to free them from further being proclaimed as terrorist organization.

In what appeared like a sermon, a reverend gentleman, Prof. Ben Osisioma urged Ndi Igbo to look inwards and eschew vices that could derail the position canvassed at the summit.

He quoted the popular saying, “that those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it’’.

Aggregating these views, retired Maj.-Gen. Ike Nwachukwu also underscored the essence of the summit; he gave his full support to the restructuring agenda.

He asked everyone concerned to support the agenda and ensure that Nigeria is restructured ahead of the 2019 election.

Prof. Soludo in wraping up, quoted a popular position by Albert Einstein: “It is a mark of insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result’’.

He noted that the significance of the event is undeniable. “It will continue to resonate in the hearts of every Igbo man and indeed all Nigerians who truly believe that Nigeria needs to be renegotiated’’.

It is worthy of note that this epochal event took place at the prestigious Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, Anambra State and hosted by Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra.

This is no doubt another evidence of Gov. Obiano’s achievements in safety, security, peace, unity, good leadership and deep commitment toward the Nigerian project.

There’s no better way to capture the Governor’s passion and duty to Ndi Igbo and Nigerians than when he called on all Ndi Igbo and Nigerians to join hands to build a better Nigeria for all.

“Umu nne m, the future summons us to a brighter dawn and we must walk in the shadows of our fathers. Yes, our fathers played a major role in Nigeria’s long road to independence.

“And today, we have gathered to dream a balanced federation into existence for Nigeria and Nigerians.

“Brothers and sisters, we have answered the call of history and hopefully, history will be kind to us,’’ Obiano concluded. (MOI)


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