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A former governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife has come out to explain why he believes that remaining in a united Nigeria is still the best bet for Ndigbo whose region is presently seeking to dismember Nigeria.
In the interview with reporters, the Igbo leader pointed out that although Nigeria was badly governed, Ndigbo were better off fighting for inclusion and restructuring in a United Nigeria.
While sharing his thoughts on how Nigeria can achieve a more inclusive and progressive country, he said;
‘Well, nobody wants to be a slave in their own country. This Peter Obi experience is a very frustrating one and as I told you I reached agreement with the people who are in the group of Biafra that if Peter Obi becomes the president, we cannot call ourselves slaves and therefore we should look for Biafra inside Nigeria if restructuring is done.’
He went further to add that; ‘If there is restructuring and agreement is reached and regions are on their own, we will see things happening. There will be improvement for Arewa, Yoruba, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Igbo, etc, and for Nigeria. I believe that God in heaven may change the situation. For me, although it may be annoying to some people but one Nigeria is the best for the Igbo even with these difficulties.
‘It is because Nigeria has an assignment from God to earn the dignity and respect of all blacks and to be important in world affairs. Size matters. If we break up into tiny countries, we may not be able to influence things at the international level.
‘Did anybody invite our people to go to China or Japan? No. I think it is better for every group if we can pray to God to revive our spirit for us to begin to do the right things and adopt meritocracy, and we will get better.’
While sharing his views on the marginalisation which Ndigbo were currently facing, he said;
‘As long as you marginalise the Igbo or treat them as badly as they are being treated today, and deny them leadership for so long, Nigeria will remain backward. The Igbo have the assignment of developing Nigeria to become an economic superpower.
‘The Igbo have that assignment to help Nigeria. Assuming Peter Obi emerged as the president, all he has to do is to provide a level playing field where Yoruba, Hausa, Itsekiri and others will play on a level-playing field. Nothing would have made Peter Obi, (the presidential candidate of the Labour Party) favour the Igbo. Before the election, I had an agreement with all the youths in the East that in a country, a slave cannot be a president.
‘What we are saying is that we are becoming slaves in our country of origin and I told them if Nigerians voted for Peter Obi to become the President then we are not slaves in Nigeria and they agreed. The problem we are having now is that the country voted for him but he is not the President and that is the major problem. The main point is that whatever the case is against the Igbo, for as long as they stood and trusted them to where they are today it is a shame to black men.’
The former Governor also disclosed that he will never stop his demand for good governance in Nigeria.