Northern governors have said that Igbos are not marginalized, they had occupied exalted positions like Secretary to the Government (SGF) of the Federation, Senate President and many others but the occupiers of those positions rather used them for ephemeral and selfish gains.
In a meeting with Igbo and Hausa leaders at the Government House in Owerri, Imo state. the Northern Governor Forum led by Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, who is also chairman, decried the poor state of major roads in the Southeast, but said politicians from the zone “are only interested in pocketing the resources that would have been used in developing the zone at the detriment of the people.
He said, “You can take for instance the case of Nnamdi Kanu who is an ordinary criminal. When he was arrested, senators from the Southeast were falling head over heels to bail him for what they could gain at the detriment of national unity and peaceful coexistence.
“The problem of Nigeria is we the elite who are fanning the embers of hatred and disunity for selfish reasons. The country is passing through a grim and sober moment and by working together, we can get Nigeria to work again. he added.”
“We are here to thank our colleagues in the Southeast for standing on the part of peace and national unity. All we need is tolerance, justice and generosity of mind to move the country forward.
“Governor Okorocha has been dehumanised and branded all sorts of names for insisting on one indivisible Nigeria but he has remained unshaken in his faith in the unity of the country. We salute his sense of patriotism and his style of leadership, he is the kind of leader that Nigeria needs.”
With Shettima were: Governors Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Bello Masari (Katsina).
Tambuwal said “Nigeria is not a mistake. Nigeria is a special creation we all must continue to strive to make it work. And for us to continue to coexist harmoniously, we must have respect for each other. We must respect each other’s’ culture because respect begets respect”.
Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State chapter has denounced the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) activities by South East governors.
The Party also disagreed with the Nigeria Army, over the latter’s declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation without due process of law.
In a statement signed by its Anambra state Publicity Secretary, Okelo Madukaife, the APC said it was wrong for the governors to take such action against a body campaigning for the right to self-determination of the South-East without following due process.
It stated that although it does not, in any way endorses what it called the weird ways of the violent faction of IPOB, but inspired by the wordings in the code of ethics of APC regarding the rule of law, it held that the illegalities of that action of IPOB should be addressed legally.
The statement reads: “We are worried that governors, who should point the way for the South East, including Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, could lose their heads when others were doing so, and thereby, failed to live up to their responsibilities as leaders.
“We hold that the governors, who, in unison, ought to have drawn the attention of the army to an error in their pronouncement, instead, endorsed it, without due process or broad consultations, and traded away the constitutional rights of an organisation in the South East. Nothing constitutes a bigger betrayal of trust.
“It is our view that the five governors should reverse themselves now; as such illegality may be cited as precedence, going forward.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to call the Nigerian Army to order, to the extent only of veering into the powers reserved for civil authorities, as so much has been experienced in our history, as a nation, not to take some of these costly slips for granted.
“We do not recommend any governor who participated in that infamous decision back to office in the next governorship election of the respective states, whenever such comes.
“This would serve as a big deterrent to future leaders in the South East that political leadership is serious business that invites its arrowheads to be alert, courageous, thorough and farsighted. Hence, only people prepared and seasoned for leadership should seek the mandate of the people.”
“Hence, to this extent, this reckless and indicted arm of IPOB, as, indeed, all persons and organisations should answer to the law.
“We, however, commend the federal government for the initiative to protect lives and properties in the South East because the end of rights of one person or group under the Nigerian Constitution is the beginning for another individual or group,” the party chapter said.
“We have seen young men, and women for that matter, claiming to be IPOB members harassing others and compelling them to sing the same songs with them. We have seen those who claim to be IPOB members disrupt campaigns of political parties in Anambra State and threaten leaders of different political persuasions, and heard them claim without lawful authority that elections will not take place in Anambra State on November 18, 2017.
“We have earlier condemned this stance, and called for action on the part off security agencies. Yet, we are equally mindful that all these observations above have come from a breakaway faction of IPOB, which bad news has spread faster, while the real IPOB; civil and persuasive in their approach has condemned the idea of interfering with elections and perpetrating violence. So the authorities concerned ought to have been more circumspect in this regard.
“Our heart goes out to all persons who sustained injuries in the course of securing the South-East by the Nigerian Army and to the families of those who lost their lives. We trust that they would not have died in vain, and that the living may imbibe lessons to arrive at better results for the future of a united and secure South-East, which forms the leg for a prosperous and united Nigeria.
“We urge those who are intent on exercising their right to self-determination to do so within the confines of the law, and to lawfully seek the support of others who must be instrumental to any successful agitation.
“We warn politicians who think that the chorus of the word ‘Biafra’ is a short cut to public positions in the South East to understand that if it ever worked, the expiry date has come, as agitation or a new country is separate from seeking an office within the Constitution of Nigeria.
“We advise Ndigbo to return to the political path set by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr Michael Okpara and Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and take a rightful place in the mainstream of Nigerian politics,” it added.