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The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has appealed to President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly commence moves that will see the creation of a new state in the southeast in order to address the injustice of the region having only five states.
Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu who is the President-General of the socio-cultural group, who stated this while briefing journalists in Owerri, also said the organisation will have no choice but to seek a proper interpretation of Nigeria’s constitution in court if the Federal Government fails to respond positively to this request.
According to the PG, ‘Ohaneze is concerned about the obvious inequality and injustice manifested in the recent appointment of members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Altogether, 48 members were appointed and sworn in, but only five were appointed from the southeast, By the principle of Federal Character, the Southeast ought to have gotten at least eight ministers.’
‘This action has put the southeast in an absolute minority in the Federal Executive Council. For the avoidance of doubt, the Ohaneze Ndigbo stands for equity and justice. Ohaneze-Ndigbo believes that equity and justice are fundamental prerequisites for an enduring harmonious relationship in a country such as Nigeria with many diversities, The Federal Character enshrined in our Constitution is a major step towards the management of Nigeria’s many diversities.
‘We have, in the past few years, patiently watched some people in authority deny the Southeast our rights. For example, there is no explanation whatsoever for giving Southeast five states only, whereas other zones have six or Seven States.
‘This situation has put Southeast in a very serious handicap. For example, many appointments are made based on the equality of states. On this premise, Southeast has lost a lot of appointment opportunities.
‘In the legislature, Southeast has lost a whole State legislative assembly, the Federal House of Representatives, and three senators. The impact of this is also felt during the presidential primaries, where delegates are drawn from states and local governments.
‘We have also incurred a lot of financial loss in the past 30 years as revenues are allocated based on equality of state.
‘For the avoidance of doubt, Southeast is committed to the peace, progress, and development of all parts of Nigeria; we, therefore, appeal to the President and the National Assembly to look into our case and ensure that the National Executive Council is adjusted to reflect the Federal Character.’
Ohaneze, while demanding that action be taken to create a new state in the Southeast in order to address the injustice of the Southeast having only five states, said, “Some of the reasons given by some political leaders are that the Southeast did not vote for them during their elections. In the course of the trial by the judiciary, Nigerians will be told clearly whether denial of opportunities should be regarded as legitimate punishment for a group who did not vote for a political leader.