End South-east marginalisation now, Ohanaeze tells Tinubu, demands Nnamdi Kanu’s release 

he apex Socio-cultural group of Igbos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has stated that the marginalisation of the South East geopolitical zone is real and called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to end it forthwith.

This was contained in statement on Thursday by its President General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who said it was in the interest of the zone to assist President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to succeed.

According to Iwuanyanwu, “any failure by Mr President would be a calamity to Igbos who have made huge investments in many places in the country.”

The Ohanaeze President-General argued that the zone also expected the Federal  Government to reciprocate this gesture by attending to some of the problems affecting the South East.

Chief Iwuanyanwu also noted that the Southeast did not begrudge the victory of President Tinubu at the 2023 presidential election arguing that when many parts of Nigeria were going on demonstration, Southeast 

did not join.

The Igbo leader thanked Tinubu for appointing Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla Chief of Naval Staff and the Minister of Works, Engr. Dave Umahi.

He also highlighted the various areas the South East was marginalized, calling on President Tinubu to with immediate effect end the marginalisation.

“Sometime in 2023, I reported the high level of marginalization of igbos to this forum of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders, This marginalization is very clear from the following points

“South-east is the only Geo-political zone in Nigeria that has got only five states whereas other zones have between six and seven states

“48 Ministers were appointed by Mr President. By law of Federal Character, Southeast should have Eight Ministers but we have only Five Ministers while some other zones have up to Ten.

“All the efforts to develop railway infrastructure in Nigeria, nothing was done in the South-east in spite of the fact that our people are traders who travel a lot.

“Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been incarcerated for many years and every effort to plead his release met with failure, while many other Nigerians arrested and  accused of similar offense have all been released

“According to the Federal Character Commission, the presidency is zoned to rotate North and South instead of rotating through six geo-political zones.  This has made it impossible for Southeast to produce a president when two large zones come together to deny Southeast the opportunity.

“The presidency was zoned to the South. The Southern and Middle-Belt met, deliberated and resolved to zone it to the southeast in their own opinion, Justice demanded that it should be zoned to the southeast; they therefore zoned it to the southeast. Later on southwest candidate emerged in APC being the political party in power.

“Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum resolved to support an Igbo candidate. This is how the support for Peter Obi came up. From the result of the election, Mr Peter Obi won clearly in Lagos, Delta, Abuja and many other places including the Middle-Belt. 

“I must confess that the Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum has nothing against Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They were convinced in all honesty that it was the turn of the Southeast to produce the President.

“When the result was announced His Excellency Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared winner, the Southeast candidate went to Court to seek redress. However, as the Supreme Court of Nigeria affirmed Mr. President’s victory, as law abiding citizens, who believe in the rule of law, we congratulated His Excellency Mr President and promised to give him every support he requires to rebuild Nigeria for good.

“It might interest anyone who cares to know that we have manifested this in practical terms. For example when many parts of Nigeria were going on demonstration, Southeast was approached to join but as a leader of southeast, I made a proclamation telling my people not to join and they harkened to my voice and never joined the protest. 

“We in the Southeast have made substantial investments in many parts of the country and it is in our interest to assist Mr. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed. Any failure by Mr President would be a calamity to Igbos who have made huge investments in many places in the country.

“We sincerely expect the government to reciprocate this gesture by attending to some of our problems.

“I had at one of our meetings of Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum brought up the problems of obvious marginalization of my people by the Federal Government and the forum expressed their sympathy to the Igbos. I remember vividly a communique was issued at one this meetings calling for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose continued detention is causing problems in the Southeast.

“After the 2023 general election, we experienced the worst situation which after Peter Obi won in Lagos, Abuja and some other States a group of people held a meeting and boasted that they will cripple Igbos and make sure they don’t succeed in business and politics. 

“The activities of this group were glaringly obvious in Lagos where after Mr Peter Obi’s victory in Lagos state, every effort was made to stop Igbos from voting. At times violence was used to stop them. Igbos were abused and threatened to Leave Lagos.

“Some markets in Lagos state dominated by Igbos were either closed down or demolished. I held a meeting with the leadership of Lagos State, I am happy the matter had slowed down.

“An Igbo man, HRH Eze Nwajiagu who was arrested in Lagos State for no justifiable reason is still in detention in Lagos. His only offence was the statement he made which if the same statement was made by persons of other tribes, would not be taken seriously. We expect Mr. President to look into this matter in order to forestall future occurrence.

“We also woke up one morning In Abuja to hear that a spiraling estate owned by an Igbo man Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu (Ikukuoma) has been totally demolished. This matter had been reported to me. I requested all relevant information regarding the demolition. From my findings due process of law was not taken before this demolition. We also appeal to Mr. President to investigate this case of demolition of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s estate in Abuja.”