How Igbo can develop, by Obasanjo, Anyaoku, others
He spoke during the South East Security and Economic Summit in Enugu, as governors of the zone identified infrastructure deficit, deplorable state of federal roads, insecurity, ecological challenges among others as factors hindering the development of the area, pointing out that these had brought other negative consequences.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, his ministers from the South East zone and only governor produced by the All progressives Congress (APC) in the zone, Rochas Okorocha shunned the summit.
The president who was to declare the event open did not also send representation, a development that sent members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) into the streets jubilating.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu had in the same vein said that lack of inclusion and respect for rule of law were central to the level of disenchantment in the country, explaining that no section of a country could feel happy when unjustly treated or when her people are languishing in prisons even when the courts have asked for their release.
Obasanjo, who was the guest of honour insisted that the South East should not succumb to the threats of marginalization and neglect, stressing that the zone had something that could be explored to turn around her fortunes and that of the entire country.
He said: “When I was growing up, we know the South East with enterprise, entrepreneurship, communal effort and communal spirit, spirit of adventure, there is no place you go and there is no Igbo man there. Nobody has taken this away from you. The problem is how we can utilize these skills in the area of economy and security. We should not work alone, if we have been working alone and not gone far, we should stop. That is the purpose of this summit.”
Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anyaoku, harped on the need for restructuring for economic stability and unity of the country, explaining that Nigeria would always witness under development and economic crisis unless the various units are made to develop individually.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on behalf of the governors called for the intervention of the Federal Government in ensuring that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport meets with internationally accepted standards.
Chairman of the Summit, Prof Barth Nnaji had stated that the alleged feeling of abandonment by the government since the end of the war, lack of equity and fairness among others elicited the summit.
He said that Ndigbo were merely asking that what was due to them as part and parcel of the country should be given to them, explaining that it would help address youth’s restiveness in Nigeria.