Eminent Igbo leaders have expressed their support for the growing demand for regional autonomy to facilitate Nigeria’s economic and political development.
They asserted that the time had come for the Federal Government to recognise the inalienable rights of the constituent regions of Nigeria to self-determination and regional autonomy as contained in the 1960 Independence Constitution and 1963 Republican Constitution.
At a press conference to mark the end of the well-attended World Igbo Summit at the Goodluck Jonathan Auditorium, Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, Igbo leaders also demanded the release of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Their views were contained in a communique signed by the Chairman of the Summit, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, former Old Anambra State Governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Col. Joe Achuzia (rtd), Chief Francis Ojih, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Prof George Obiozor, Dr Greg Ike Ibe, Iyom Josephine Anenih and Dr Joe Nwaogu.
The South East leaders called for a repeal of the 1999 Constitution.
They said that a new constitution for the country was long overdue.
The Summit noted that since the Biafran agitators are not a threat to national security, the Federal Government should promptly release their leader (Kanu) and all other prisoners of conscience in line with the rule of law.
The Summit, which took place at the Gregory University Uturu, Abia State, between October 27 and October 30, 2016, brought together the great minds of Ala Igbo to dialogue and design a strategic roadmap for growth and development for the South East.
The participants evolved a 50-year development plan for the region. The document gave details of how to achieve sustainable development of the Igbo nation through wealth repatriation and reinvestment in the South East by all the Igbo across the globe.
The Summit, whose theme was “Visioning the Igbo Nation in 2066”, was co-chaired by Nwachukwu, Ezeife, Achuzia, Oji and Iwuanyanwu.
Other Igbo leaders and their counterparts from the South-South geo-political zone, who attended the Summit, included the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Majesty Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Prof. Joe Irukwu, Prof. George Obiozor, Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Prof. Epiphany Azinge, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Greg Ibe, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Chief Simon Nsobundu Okeke, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna and Prof. Maurice Iwu.
Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano was represented by the Deputy Governor Nkem Okeke. The governor commended the World Igbo Summit Group and the Igbo Renaissance Centre of Gregory University, Uturu, for coming out with a realistic 50-year development plan for the region.
The Summit said that since Ndigbo have made the biggest sacrifices and contributions to the building of modern Nigeria, the time had come for them to work for a nation where the Igbo are allowed to live and operate as equal citizens without any discrimination, bias or intimidation.
The Summit also resolved to take full responsibility for the rebuilding of Igbo economy and development and to adopt the digital economy as the organising paradigm and implementation framework for its sustainable development.
It also said that in line with the recent resolution of the Southern Nigerian Peoples Assembly, the National Assembly and State Assemblies should make laws prohibiting open grazing by herdsmen. The participants, however, opposed the establishment of grazing reserves and ranches with public funds.
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)