From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Igbo elders have threatened to take unfriendly action against Igbos who are secretly or openly working against the political interests of the South East region and its ambition to produce an Igbo president in 2023.
The Igbo Elders Council said they recently uncovered the plot by some ‘unpatriotic’ people with the aid of some ‘unpatriotic’ Igbo people to scuttle the patriotic resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum that the 2023 Presidency should be zoned to the south for the sake of peace, justice, equity and fairness, promising to take action against such people.
Former Anambra State Governor Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who addressed reporters in Abuja, on Monday, on behalf of the Council said the action of such people is saddening, divisive and unpatriotic.
‘We condemn it without any reservations and shall support any possible sanctions against such Igbo sons and daughters that are associated with the deceit and betrayal of people’s will and popular desire,’ he said.
‘The Presidency has to be zoned to the south, and we believe that our brothers of the South-South and South West shall be considerate enough to micro-zone it to the South East, which, except for the six months of Aguiyi Ironsi military regime, has not been given the opportunity to lead the country in that capacity since political independence of Nigeria in 1960.
‘We also hasten to warn that any political party that thinks that the laudable and patriotic demand that the 2023 Presidency be zoned to the south, and do otherwise by zoning it elsewhere, should be prepared to struggle without the votes of our people because it’s against the principles of equity, justice and fairness.
‘Any political party that preaches democracy, accountability and transparency should first put into practice the principles of equity, justice and fairness by zoning the 2023 Presidency to the south, preferably, the South East. This will, no doubt, douse the increasing tension and heated Nigerian polity aggravated by the cries of marginalisation, injustice, the policy of exclusion, nepotism and ethnicity.’
Meanwhile, the elders expressed worries over the delay in the passage of anti-open grazing law by some South East states describing it as a coup against the people of the region.
The elders were particularly concerned that except Enugu and Abia States, few states in the South-East and South-South are yet to take action on the decision taken by southern governors to commence action against open grazing effective September 1.
The elders insisted that the decision of the southern governors to ban open grazing was a good one and should be supported.
‘It’s a demonstration of their determination to enthrone democracy, rule of law and transparent governance for a conducive, stimulating and challenging business environment and orderly society for the security of lives and property of all citizens irrespective of ethnic, religious and occupational differences.
‘It’s expected that every state in the South-East should not only pass the law but put in place appropriate mechanisms for immediate implementation of the law in the state. Otherwise, the laudable objective of enacting the law for the purpose of minimising conflict between farmers and herders, as well as promoting ranching and other modern pastoral methods would be defeated.’
They encouraged states in the South-East and other Igbo speaking states in the South-South to put in place necessary machinery to comply with southern governors’ resolution or be liable for aborting the popular will and desires of the people, stating that governors and state assemblies of the delinquent states, especially in the South-East would be held responsible.
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