President, governors, others asked to engage agitators
President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, socio-cultural organisations, opinion leaders as well as human rights groups have been urged to fruitfully engage the various self-determination movements nationwide with a viewing to addressing their grievances once and for all.
According to the Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), which made the call yesterday in a communiqué issued by its president, Chief Tochukwu Ezeoke, at the end of its maiden press conference in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria is replete, lately, with calls by a good number of self-determination groups.
The document reads: “In the North, there is the Boko Haram terrorist war that has killed thousands of Nigerians in their struggle for an Islamic state.“In the East, there is the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) amongst others. In the Niger Delta, there is the Avengers and in the West, we have the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC).
“These groups have been given life by decades of misrule, growing ethnic-religious contradictions, injustice, structural/systemic deficiencies and the overall failure of the Nigerian state. “In engaging them, the federation has exclusively chosen violence rather than dialogue and wide-ranging reforms/restructuring.
“Regrettably, government has chosen this option of violent clampdown even for non-violent groups such as IPOB, which only exercised their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly.”
The group called for an immediate withdrawal of all charges levied against IPOB members and the unconditional releases of its members.It noted that the fundamentals of restructuring suffer no conflict, as all proponents virtually agree that more control or autonomy should be given to the states or regions as the case maybe.
IEI added: “Government systems should be modified or streamlined for effective governance. There should be rotation of power for purposes of nation-building, corruption should be eliminated, security enhanced and development as well as welfare of the citizenry be the unambiguous goal of government at all levels.
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