Leaders of the South East and South South geo political zones of the country have reached out to one another in efforts to forge an alliance.
Leaders of both sides met on Thursday at the Lagos residence of former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark to fashion out a ways of collaboration and working together.
Clark led the South South leaders, to the meeting, while Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the newly elected President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo led the South-East team.
Clark while speaking to newsmen, lamented that some Nigerians had been turned to second class citizens in the country, and that their voices were not even listened to, a situation which he said is not good for harmonious co-existence, unity and development of the country.
They therefore harped on the need to restructure the country in efforts to give every citizen a sense of belonging and make everyone equal partners and partakers, in the Nigerian project.
The Ijaw leader congratulated Nwodo for emerging as Ohanaeze President General, adding, that with him “a Daniel has come to judgment.”
He also lamented, that Nigeria as presently constituted is “light years away from the kind of country our founding fathers bequeathed to us.”
He noted, that at independence in 1960, the Richard’s Constitution spelt out what Nigeria should be – a Federal Republic with three regions – North, East and West as the components.
According to him, “Each of the regions is equal and each is allowed to develop at its own pace. Whatever resources you have in your region, you take 50 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent is sent to the centre, which is further shared between the centre and the regions.
“That was the country we knew. Today, the reverse is the case. We complain of xenophobia in South Africa, what do we have in Nigeria?”
Chief Clark said “a situation where some groups of Nigerians speak others listen but cannot speak means we don’t have a country. This country belongs to all of us”.
On his part, Chief Nwodo said the South-South and the South-East zones were brothers and neighbours, hence the need for both zones to collaborate and work together.
He revealed, that his team came to extend a hand of fellowship to South-South to faction methods that would improve not only the fortunes of the two zones but the entire country.
Nwodo said Ndigbo wants a country where every part would participate and and bequeath a better future to the coming generations.
According to him, the South-East was being maltreatment in the Nigerian set up, even as he cited the number low number of states, poor infrastructure in the region, as well as the non-headship of any of the security agencies.
The Ndigbo leader also recalled a recent statement attributed to the Emir of Kano that the Igbo were being punished for going to war against Nigeria, which he said was unfortunate.
Other leaders at the meeting included Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Major. General Nwachukwu (rtd), Alobo Tonye-Douglas, Senator Ewa Henshew, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Prof. G.G. Darah, Dr. Steve Oru, Chief Albert Horsfall, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena and Uche Okwukwu.
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