Diaspora Igbo seeks restructured Nigeria
Igbo World Assembly (IWA), an umbrella organization of Nd’Igbo in the diaspora, has said it envisions a Nigeria with a balance between the rights of the majority and that of the minority to guarantee various ethnic groups a sense of belonging and stake in the future of the country.
IWA Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, who disclosed this to The Guardian in an exclusive interview, said “IWA’s mission remains the actualization of the Nigeria Agenda and Youth Empowerment geared towards improving the lives of the people through collective efforts with all stakeholders.”
Anakwenze, who is also the Onowu (Prime Minister) of Abagana, in Anambra State, expressed the hope that Nigeria would emerge from its present challenges if citizens and leaders offer patriotic and sincere contributions to nation building.
He said the history of Nigeria clearly shows that Nd’Igbo have always stood for democracy and fair play for all and do not believe or promote religious politics and ideology.
His words: “We want true democracy and freedom which allows for the various ethnic groups to feel that they have a stake in the future of the country, vote and be voted for all positions.
“We envision a Nigeria where leadership is based on the ability to work hard, where fairness reigns with a sense of direction and accountability to the various groups and for the common good of the country.”
The IWA boss justified the agitation of Nd’Igbo for Presidential power, asserting that they will be more willing than others to share power and positions with the various ethnic nationalities of Nigeria in a fair and equitable manner.
Anakwenze, who is also a medical practitioner, remarked, “Igbo desire is to get what is their fair share and no more. Where all the regions of Nigeria have produced the President of the country, it is now the turn of the Southeast region to provide good leadership for the good of all Nigerians so as to move Nigeria in a positive direction and thus be their brothers’ keepers.
“For the good of Nigeria, IWA believes our geopolitical interest should extend to ethnic regions in Nigeria that aspire to its mission of uniting all Nigerians of like minds, through the concept of standing together for the betterment of the entire Nigeria.”
The US-based medical practitioner further contended that the sections of Southeast that have not tasted the presidency, should move to the front line and take their opportunity to participate in the leadership process.
Consequently, he urged all political parties to zone Nigerian presidency to the South East Zone of Nigeria in 2023, stating that doing so would be seen as efforts geared to achieving justice.
The IWA leader while joining the agitations across the country for restructuring of the country, said most Southerners, Middle Belterners and most Nigerians want a restructured Nigeria, “which was and still is the goal for a sustainable future Nigerian nation that will stand the test of time.”
He noted that while there is need for a Nigeria where every component part is allowed a measure of autonomy and self-determination, the predominant view is for restructuring of the country, and that this should be the minimum that Nd’Igbo should demand, so that every component part of this country can substantially harness its resources and develop at its own pace.
Anakwenze stated: “We want to make Nigeria one of the greatest countries on earth. God has blessed us with everything you can imagine except good leaders and it is time to correct this.
“There is a need to restructure Nigeria to ensure true federalism based on regions or zones. An alliance with other groups/neighbours is the key, regardless of the fear of a hidden Igbo agenda for domination. This fear of Igbo domination was keeping neighbours from working with us.
“IWA feels that what Nigeria needs in the long run is true federalism – a system of government based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between National and Regional/State Governments.” He maintained that the individual federating units need to have more control over their own affairs so that the federal government could control issues in the single exclusive list.