Jonathan may be Nigeria’s last president —Igbo leaders
PUNCH 5 JUNE 2014
Igbo Leaders of Thought, a group of prominent Igbo political leaders, rose from a meeting in Enugu on Wednesday with a warning that President Goodluck Jonathan may become the last president of one united Nigeria, if a politician from the North-East and North-West continue to sponsor the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
The Igbo leaders maintained their belief that the terror campaign of the Boko Haram sect was an ethno/religious war being waged by unnamed northern political leaders, who seek to take control of the presidency.
The group, which is led by Prof. Ben Nwabueze, spoke in a statement signed by its Deputy Secretary, Evang. Elliot Uko, and the Leader of the Igbo Women Assembly, Chief Mariah Okwor.
They noted that the sponsors of the insurgency are inadvertently pushing Nigeria towards disintegration in their bid to make the country ungovernable towards actualising their quest for central power.
However, the Igbo leaders warned that, rather than succeed in their quest, the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect would only succeed in ensuring that Jonathan becomes Nigeria’s last president.
Parts of the statement read, “We wish to draw the attention of the international community, especially the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS, that the ongoing daily attack on the foundation of the Nigerian state by a ruthless, barbaric and well oiled Islamic jihadist killing machine, is a political war funded and waged by ethno/religious bigots who believe that they are born with divine right to rule others perpetually.
“The fact that they are gradually axing the root that holds this country still standing, while at the same time stubbornly opposing the wishes of the vast majority of other ethnic nationalities for a restructured Nigeria, simply means that they are inadvertently tilting the country towards a dissolution whereafter they can have their “religiously pure” Islamic nation, comprising the north-east and north-west zones of present Nigeria, but certainly without the central zone of Nigeria as their cannon fodder.
“Now that evidence has confirmed through the ongoing military court marshall that disgruntled senior army officers recently retired from the army in cahoots with a large pool of political leaders of a particular section of the country are the ones directing and influencing certain serving senior, medium-level and even junior army officers to subvert, undermine and bring down the government by feeding Boko Haram with intelligence, what more does anybody need to see that this is clearly a religious and political war for the very soul of Nigeria.
“For these evil people, we have only one message: you will never seize central power by making Nigeria ungovernable through senseless insurgency. Rather, if anything, you will only succeed in confirming Jonathan as the last president of one united Nigeria.
The Igbo leaders equally insisted on the restructuring of Nigeria along six regional federating units.
They stressed that the ongoing National Conference would fail if it does not establish the foundation for regionalism.
They described the current 36-state structure as a “contraption for lion share of war booty” imposed on the country by northern generals, an arrangement, which enabled them to exercise absolute control over the country’s resources.
The continued existence of the country cannot be guaranteed if the National Conference fails to adopt regionalism, they added.
It read further, “After wide consultations with broad spectrum of Ndigbo, we hereby reiterate the position of the Igbo nation on the ongoing National Conference.
“If Nigeria is not restructured along the lines of six regions as federating units, with each unit maintaining its powers as democratically provided under the 1963 Constitution, the ongoing conference would have served no useful purpose in the struggle to save Nigeria.”
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