By Dennis Agbo
A Coalition of Civil Society activists and Human Right Defenders in the South East has petitioned seven Nations of Power in the globe, presenting frightful chronology of suppression of Ndigbo in Nigeria, particularly under President Mohammadu Buhari’s government and urged the international community to help and rescue the Igbo from conspiracy of marginalization and slavery.
The High commissions which the petitions were delivered to include the United States of America, Canada, France, Britain and Germany.
The petition was also addressed to European Union through the Delegation of European to Nigeria and ECOWAS; as well as to the United Nations via the Indigenous Peoples and Minority Section office.
The Igbo group said their call was for the World powers to mount constructive pressure on President Buhari to re-write the wrongs meted out against the Igbo ethnic nationality in Nigeria
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They argued that under the watch of President Buhari, there has been no consideration for Nigeria’s heterogeneity in appointment of security chiefs, leading to the Igbo exclusion from security decisions in the country.
The 14 civil society groups that formed the coalition include the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO; Igbo Civil Society Coalition; International Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights; United Action for Democracy; Save Nigeria Group; Committee for Defence and Human Rights; Campaign for Democracy, among others.
In a press Conference in Enugu on Monday, convener of the group and President of CLO, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike and Dr Jasper Uche of Igbo civil society organization listed other orchestrated reduction of Ndigbo to second class citizens in Nigeria to include schemes to deny the Igbo 2023 presidency; purposeful neglect of the Eastern railway and south east exclusion from the ongoing railway projects across the country.
They also cited the neglect of both roads and seaport infrastructure in the south east; suspicious closure of Akanu Ibiam International airport in Enugu; concentration of interventions of development partners in the North; exclusion from the commanding height of National Economy; Delay in the Passage of South East Development Commission Bill; Politicization of Terrorist Designation and Unfavourable Allocation from the Centre.
The group therefore prayed to the diplomatic missions that “President Buhari should respect the principle of federal character in the distribution of public good and appointive positions, especially the security chiefs; should send an executive bill to the National Assembly for the creation of one additional state in the south east, to be at par with the other zones and the Federal Government should mobilize resources to ensure speedy completion of Enugu Airport rehabilitation and expansion of the tarmac before the Christmas season.
“The National Assembly should urgently complete legislative works in SEDC bill and dispatch to Mr. President for his assent; the Federal Government should build an international seaport in the South East; the Federal Government should show a strong political will in tackling the security challenges bedeviling the country, largely attributed to the killer-herdsmen and armed bandits and the Federal Government should de-proscribe IPOB, negotiate with them, and address the grievances that bred the agitations. Bandits in the North West have more criminal records than IPOB. What is good for geese is good for the gander.”
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The coalition also demanded from the international community to mount pressure on the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to make a declaratory statement on the 2023 presidency, adding also that the Federal Government should urgently close down the borders in North to checkmate the influx of illegal immigrants, small arms and light weapons, SALWs, and the killer herdsmen into the country.
“If Federal Government could close Seme Border in the South to checkmate rice smuggling, it should do the same in the North to checkmate influx of arms and criminals,” the group stated.