Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma has condemned the spate of insecurity in the South-East, appealing to the Igbo leadership to join hands with government and security agencies to end the unfortunate situation.
Hope Uzodinma Speaks On Agitation In South-East
Speaking on Saturday during an interaction with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the governor urged agitators to adopt dialogue to drive home their demands.
According to him, even though Ndigbo has not been treated fairly treated in Nigeria since the Civil war ended, the issue of their marginalization and poor treatment could still be dealt with through dialogue and persuasion rather than by violence agitation.
Uzodinma said, “In the over a decade that I have been in public office, first as a senator of the federal republic and now as a Governor, I have devoted a lot of time to ponder on the Igbo agenda in the Nigerian federation and what we as leaders should do to realize it. As most of you may already know, I have written a book on the subject matter.
“In the book, “Reflections on the Igbo Question” my position had been that we Igbos need a united Nigeria to vent our God – given talents. This is because Nigeria provides us with the space and opportunities we need to actualize our political and socioeconomic destiny.
“This is why I am deeply appalled by the raging spate of violence currently ravaging the Southeast. At the risk of repeating oneself many times over, dialogue, and not violence is the vehicle that will lead us to our desired destination.
“There is no evidence in history to show that any race had ever become great through violence and self destruction. When a man begins to urinate into a well which he drinks from, it only proves that he is on a suicidal mission. I think that as a people who have endured and survived a turbulent and brutal past, we should be wiser than that.
“No one in Nigeria can deny the fact that Ndigbo are zealous, patriotic and committed to the oneness of Nigeria. Our people can be found in every nook and cranny of Nigeria. Igbos are the most dispersed of all the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
“Unlike other tribes, Igbos have investments in the 36 states and Abuja. These investments can be found in real estate, manufacturing and in the financial sector and in commerce. These are mostly solid investments which can only be made by those who have unflinching faith in their country.
“All that the Igbos demand from Nigeria is a level playing field for all to operate and compete,where necessary. Like the Igbo adage will say, all the Igbos are asking is Egbe bere Ugo bere (This translates to “Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too”). Simply put, Ndigbo want justice and equity for all Nigerians. No more, no less.
“In the aftermath of the unfortunate events of the civil war and considering the immediate post – war discriminatory policies against Ndigbo, many of our people felt sidelined and marginalized. Over the years, many pan – Igbo groups and intellectuals have tried to get this message across to the rest of Nigeria.
“While some have done so with a great sense of patriotism, a few may have gone off the cuff to do so in a temperamental and unconventional manner.
“My worry is that while the Igbos have an unassailable case over their post – civil war treatment and plight in the Nigerian federal project, the logic of that case may be compromised by the temperamental actions of non – state actors, to the peril of everyone.
“This is why I think that the time has come for every patriot to rise and address the Igbo question. What cannot be taken away is that for too long Igbos have cried out profusely over their plight.
“This plight is comparable to the plight of the Southwest over the annulment of the June 12 elections. Following that annulment, the Southwest felt short changed. They cried out for justice. While some groups did so responsibly, others resorted to violence.
“The instructive thing here is that at a point the patriotic zeal in the political class in Nigeria was touched and they rose in unison to acknowledge that the Yorubas had cried enough and that it was time to wipe their tears. That was why the two major political parties in Nigeria fielded only Yoruba candidates for the 1999 presidential elections.
“Of course, even a political neophyte knew that this was not accidental, but a well planned act by a group of patriots who had placed the unity of Nigeria uppermost in their minds.
“It is now obvious from every indication that Ndigbo have also cried enough about their marginalization. It should also be clear to the political class that the time has come to wipe these historical tears of Ndigbo.
“What is more, most of the patriots who engineered the plan that made the Southwest produce the presidential candidates for the two major political parties in 1999 are still alive and active in politics. That same undying love for the country that inspired them to do what they did for the Southwest in 1999, should inspire them to do the same for the South east in 2023.
“The West, the North, the East and the South are all important in our quest for national unity. This a clarion call on the political class to do the needful. As the saying goes, E mee nwata otu emere ibe ya, obi a di ya nma” This simply means, the only way to make a child happy is to treat him or her the same way you treated the other child.”
KanyiDaily recalls that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had accused Governor Hope Uzodinma of being behind the killing of innocent citizens in the South-East.