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Northern elders, Ohanaeze fault Igbo’s exclusion from service chiefs, urge review

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The Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD) and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have faulted the exclusion of South East from the list of new service chiefs recently announced by the Federal Government.

Though both groups lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for eventually hearkening to voice of reason, they, however, submitted that the omission was inimical to the unity of the country. Consequently, the Nigerian leader was urged to review the appointments in deference to the nation’s federal character principle.

In a statement yesterday, in Abuja, by its National Coordinator, Zana Goni, CNEPD insisted that the exercise should reflect fairness and equity. The northern elders said: “We completely throw our weight behind Ohanaeze Ndigbo on their position over the appointment of new service chiefs. We appeal to Mr. President for a review to accommodate our Igbo brothers from the South East region in line with the federal character principle of the country. We are absolutely sure that taking this action will make the designers of our country happy where they are.”

In another press release, Ohanaeze’s President General, Prof. George Obiozor, while observing that the change in the security architecture would address Nigeria’s lingering security challenges, berated the President for turning his back on the South East.

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He stated: “Mr. President, one way of ensuring compliance with the federal character provisions of the Nigerian constitution is to observe the distribution of important and vital offices of the Federal Government in accordance with the zonal structure.

“Mr. President, particularly in the area of the security architecture of the country, the South East zone, which was conspicuously absent in your first tenure, has now again not been included so far in your recent appointment of service chiefs.”

Ohanaeze said it hoped that in future appointments in the sector, Buhari would consider the region. It vowed to resist any attempt to make Igbo victims of circumstance or violence in Nigeria

ALSO, National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo and President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Camillus Ukah, have cautioned the new security heads against wealth amassment, imploring them to re-engineer the country’s security architecture.

Isiguzo spoke via a statement yesterday in Lagos.
Similarly, Ukah submitted:

“Sustainable development cannot be achieved in a climate of insecurity. Profitable investment in any form is not consciously made inside a raging furnace. Beyond countable prosperity, a nation needs its human beings alive and safe to continue to exist. The dependence of progress on security therefore recommends a crucial duty to the new service chiefs – the obligation to crash the furnace temperature of the nation – without recourse to the usual blame game.”

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