The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodinma, has said that the Igbo needs a constitutional review that would give them justice and equity and not secession.
Uzodinma spoke in Owerri, at the National Assembly Constitutional Review Committee Public Hearing for the Southeast zone in Owerri, chaired by the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
The hearing is tagged “Proposed alteration to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
According to Uzodinma, the clamour for justice and equity showed that Igbo wanted to be part of the decision making in the country.
“For us as true leaders, genuinely committed to the Igbo question, the question agitating our minds is: what exactly do Igbo seek from Nigeria?
“Without sounding simplistic, what we seek is justice and equity. When we talk of restructuring or devolution of power, we are talking actually of having an environment created for us to unleash our potential and talent without let or hindrance.
“We are also talking of being treated equally like every other part of Nigeria. More importantly, we are talking of being part of the decision-making process in Nigeria. It means we are not talking of domination or secession.”
“In my mind, Ndigbo are better off being part of the larger Nigeria with vast opportunities opened to us than being confined in a separate space with limited opportunity.
“In every part of Nigeria outside the South East, we form the second largest population. As an itinerant group, we move around to expand our economic frontiers.
“As citizens of Nigeria, we are afforded that lease of Life. Our people are suffering harassment in South Africa and Ghana and other countries. Is that what we want to bequeath to our younger generation if in a hastily contrived indignation, we abandon our heritage in Nigeria?
“So my dearest brothers and sisters, we need Nigeria just as Nigeria needs us. Whatever be our grievances against the system, we have a golden opportunity to seek redress under the upcoming constitutional review. What we seek is justice and equity for our people to thrive. And for that, we owe nobody any apology. But we cannot achieve it through violence or threat of secession. It is through an avenue like this that we put forward our request and follows it through.”
“I, therefore, appeal to our youths to listen to the voice of reason. What an old man sees sitting, a child cannot see even if he climbs an Iroko tree. Let us toe the path of peace. All shall be well, if we remain firmly committed to the unity of Nigeria we shall get all we seek,”Uzodinma said.