DON’T TAKE UP ARMS AGAINST NIGE­RIA

Says Strug­gle For Equal­ity Must Re­main Peace­ful

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

The Deputy Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Ike Ekweremadu, has urged Ndigbo not to al­low them­selves to be pro­voked into any armed strug­gle, but to con­tinue to sus­tain peace­ful ag­i­ta­tion for eq­uity and jus­tice within the Nige­rian com­mon­wealth.

He re­it­er­ated that the min­i­mum Ndigbo de­mand from Nige­ria was the re­struc­tur­ing of the Nige­rian fed­er­a­tion to en­able them en­joy eq­uity and ac­tu­alise their po­ten­tials

Ekweremadu spoke at the World Igbo Congress (WIC) sum­mit in Enugu yes­ter­day.

“The min­i­mum Ndigbo de­mand of Nige­ria is a re­struc­tur­ing of the fed­er­a­tion so that ev­ery com­po­nent part of it can sub­stan­tially har­ness its re­sources, cut its coat ac­cord­ing to its cloth, and de­velop at its own speed.

“In­struc­tively, the ill-fated Aburi Ac­cord was about re­struc­tur­ing, even if it is not ex­actly as we want it to­day. But it was breached and dis­carded, plung­ing the na­tion into an avoid­able frat­ri­ci­dal war. Yet, 50 years after, the need and call for re­struc­tur­ing and re­turn to a true fed­eral state have only per­sisted.

“Al­though the call ini­tially fell on deaf ears, it is heart­warm­ing that the right quar­ters are begin­ning to lis­ten and the call is gath­er­ing trac­tion daily, even from hith­erto im­prob­a­ble quar­ters, “he said.

He com­mended Ndigbo for es­chew­ing vi­o­lent in their strug­gle for a bet­ter deal within the Nige­rian com­mon­wealth.

“No mat­ter the in­tim­i­da­tion, ha­rass­ment, and marginal­i­sa­tion of our peo­ple, we must never be pro­voked into an armed strug­gle. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.

“But we must con­sis­tently con­tinue to say a loud, ‘No!, un­til we get to the promised land of an eq­ui­table and just so­ci­ety. Let no man be tired and let no woman give up. The night may be long, but the day will surely break”, he said.

He urged the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to seek and sus­tain peace in all parts of the coun­try through eq­uity, jus­tice, and fair­ness as “a man that is un­justly treated will never be in­ter­ested in peace”.

“The rights of Ndigbo to peace­ful and demo­cratic en­gage­ments must be re­spected. Those who try to muf­fle and sub­due demo­cratic en­gage­ments by cit­i­zens are only play­ing into the hands of an­ar­chists.

“Im­por­tantly, the marginal­i­sa­tion meted out to Ndigbo in ap­point­ments, es­pe­cially in the com­mand­ing heights of the se­cu­rity sec­tor is un­ac­cept­able; and must be re­dressed”.

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