NDIGBO: Our case, a ticking time bomb. ~ By MAZI JOHN NNIA NWODO, THE NEW LEADER OF “OHANEZE NDIGBO”

 
Some days ago in the most peaceful and celebrated contest for the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo, I was elected as President General of Ohaneze along with sixteen other members of the National Executive Committee to lead our organization for the next four years. Our mandate was profound and humbling. We are grateful to Ndigbo for the enormous trust and confidence which they have reposed in us. Nigerians of all ethnic nationalities have joined us to celebrate the outcome of this election. They have congratulated us for holding a peaceful election and for voting-in an improved quality of representation from all Igbo-speaking areas. Let me therefore congratulate the last National Executive Committee of Ohaneze led by Chief Gary Igariwey for putting together this successful exercise. In particular, I will like to place on record our gratitude to the Electoral Committee led by Prof. Anya O. Anya and Prof ABC Nwosu for a transparent and credible election. Equally commendable is the complete unanimity of all the Governors in all Igbo speaking areas in supporting the just concluded elections and ensuring effective representation of their various States at the General Assembly. I acknowledge with thanks the messages of congratulations we received from other socio-cultural organizations and prominent Nigerians including but not limited to Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clarke, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Liyel Imoke, His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop Mathew Kukah and Governor Obong Victor Attah. Of notable mention is the unanimous solidarity of the South East caucus of the National Assembly led by the Deputy Senate President Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, we thank them most sincerely. More importantly, I cannot fail to acknowledge the timely and cheering congratulations of His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari. Mr. President in his message of congratulations expressed his readiness to work with the new Ohaneze leadership. We salute the President for his kind hand of fellowship at a time Ndigbo have great concern about their participation and treatment in the Nigerian State. This hand of fellowship offered by Mr. President, I believe, will enable us to engage him meaningfully and find an early resolution of our extant misgivings. Ndigbo in today’s Nigeria face so many problems. Under the current Federal government, Igbo representation is abysmal and falls extremely short of the constitutional provisions for the reflection of federal character in the appointment into important government positions. No arm of Government namely, the Executive, Judiciary or Legislature is headed by an Igbo. No Section of the Armed forces or paramilitary organization is headed by an Igbo. Neither the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal nor the Federal High Court is headed by an Igbo. We know in the history of this country when a lieutenant colonel was appointed to the position of Chief of General Staff over and above his superiors just to ensure ethnic balance. We know when a Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria just to ensure ethnic balance. We know when a former Military Head of State was drafted to run for President just to douse ethnic tensions. What is very perturbing is the public declaration of Mr. President that his appointments must favour the States that voted overwhelmingly for him and those he trusts even against the provisions of our constitution relating to federal character! One is at sea why Ndigbo who campaigned and voted for him appear not to be trusted. No wonder he defied the zoning structure of his party and appointed a non- Igbo man as Secretary to Government. No wonder the ministries with lean capital votes are the ones assigned to Ndigbo! No wonder he nominated Ambassadors for confirmation to the National Assembly naming three ambassadors for some states and only one ambassador for each of the Igbo States! No wonder one year and eight months into his tenure as President he has not visited any Igbo State! While we bemoan this patently discriminatory treatment of Ndigbo in appointment into political positions, addressing of capital projects is perhaps more pathetic. No railway construction is going on in Igbo land. The Enugu/Port Harcourt and Enugu/Onitsha Expressways have become national embarrassment. State Governors in Igbo States now rehabilitate federal roads in Igbo land from their lean budgets so as to keep alive mobility of factors of production. Whereas 70% of power generated in China is from coal and 40% of America’s power is from coal the coal in Enugu which is a federal resource continues to lie unexploited. Ebonyi State continues to brin

 

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