The Igbo Ekunie initiative has existed for about two years in the Diaspora, but has just come out in the open in Nigeria, to fill the gap created by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The Socia-political group, have advised President Muhammadu Buhari to engage self-determination groups in Nigeria in fruitful dialogue that would ultimately address grievances and permanently end agitations in the country.
The group’s President, Mazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, spoke with reporters in Awka, Anambra State. He noted that violence and marching on the streets would not achieve any objective, but that dialogue remained the best approach. He described the federal government’s proscription of IPOB as an irony, stating that the same government was treating the killer Fulani herdsmen with kids’ gloves, despite the pains they were inflicting on the people.
In the word of Ezeoke:“We, the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, submit that time has come for a fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian state to a structure and system that provides optimal governance that meets the needs of the populace and allows each region develop at their pace.
“We note that the fundamentals of restructuring suffer no conflict as all proponents virtually agree that more control/autonomy in all facets, should be given to the states and regions as the case may be.
“Government systems should also be modified and streamlined for more effective governance such that there should be rotation of power for purposes of nation building. “Efforts should also be made to eliminate corruption and security enhanced so that development and welfare of the citizenry should be the clear and unambiguous goal of government at all levels”.
He went further to say that; it was obvious that the status quo was unsustainable, adding that attempting to retain it was at best, suicidal.
“2019 general election is around the corner and it is time for government to take decision. Herdsmen cannot be killing our people and somebody would be looking the other way, but had to proscribe IPOB that is innocuous. It is unacceptable.
“We call for immediate withdrawal of all charges against IPOB members and the unconditional release of all their detained members. “In a democratic and heterogeneous state, dialogue should be championed above repression as that is the only way to achieve lasting peace.
“It is unfortunate that President Buhari’s government is returning Nigeria to full blown marginalization and vexed politics of exclusion”.