An Imo State born human rights activist and author, Comrade Paul Ikechukwu Njoku, has released a confidential document and accused the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo and the South East Governors “of sabotaging President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise, effort and kindness to give Ndigbo extra one State”.
In a press statement and document sent to ElombahNews by the rights activist, he stressed that “Ndigbo should query the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the South East Governors on what President Muhammadu Buhari conclusively told them in November, 2017”.
“Without any fear of contradiction, I make bold to count myself as one of the strongest critics of President Muhammadu Buhari but his ingenuity of promise to create one more State in the South East must be commended by the hidden truth.
“In November, 2017, Ndigbo visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, over clear-cut marginalisation in the region. The group includes all South East Governors, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwodo, DIG Hillary Opara (rtd), Prof Chigozie Ogbu, Prof Barth Nnaji, HE, Adolf Wabara, HE, Ike Ekweremadu, Dr.Okwesilieze Nwodo, National Woman Leader of Ohanaeze, HE, Dame Nne Nwafor, HE, Senator Enyinnanya Abaribe, Igbo Caucus of the National Assembly, Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Prof. Nnaemeka Achebe, many Igbo Intelligentsia, Academia and Businessmen in which Nnia Nwodo spoke on behalf of Ndigbo that same day.
“In that meeting, President Buhari promised to start addressing the marginalisation by creating a sixth State for Ndigbo and subsequently asked Ndigbo that same day to recommend one state in the Southeast region for creation through Executive Bill.
“In February 2018, the Southeast Governors’ Forum met at Lion House in Enugu State and authorised the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo to invite and interrogate the State Creation Movements on their strength based on the Constitutional provisions of Nigeria.
“On September 11, 2018, Nnia Nwodo, inaugurated a Committee of the whole house headed by the Vice-President (Ebonyi), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu who was the former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, while Barr. Uche Okwukwu served as the Secretary of the Committee.
“On September 27, 2018, the Committee met with the leaders of the State Creation Movements in the National Headquarters of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Enugu State where documents and presentations were made to support their demand.
“On October 10, 2018, the Ohanaeze NEC Committee on State Creation met and discovered that the demand for the creation of Anim, Etiti, Equity and Orimili failed to meet up with the Constitutional requirements for State Creation based on the consideration of Chapter 1, Section 8 (1)a (i, ii, iii) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The Committee also established that the demand for the creation of Aba and Adada States met the Constitutional requirements but considered the merit for the creation of Aba and Adada and recommended the creation of Aba State.
“The Committee agreed that Aba State was the most viable place for the creation in reference to the economically based constitutional requirement of the 1999 constitution as amended. They resolved and submitted their recommendation on October 10, 2018, titled: “Recommendation of Ohanaeze Committee on State Creation”, to Nnia Nwodo to submit it to the Southeast Governors’ Forum to enable the Southeast governors to transmit the document to President Buhari who had already promised to move it as an Executive Bill to the National Assembly.
“As a concerned Igbo son, I am very sad to discover that Nnia Nwodo who is from Nsukka of Adada in Enugu State and who desperately wanted Adada State to be favoured became angry and killed the most fruitful recommendation of the Ohanaeze NEC and intensified efforts by making sure that Buhari did not get the recommendation for a sixth state creation in the Southeast simply because the Committee said no to the Adada State of Nwodo’s nativity.
“I am utterly disappointed that the Southeast governors have forgotten that they are supposed to summon and surmount Nnia Nwodo to relinquish the Committee Recommendation to them. Nnia Nwodo and the Southeast Governors have indeed deeply sabotaged Ndigbo by this grave mistake and organised carelessness of all time.
“Is Nnia Nwodo and the Southeast governors not aware that Aba State has the land-mass and more local governments than Adada? Are the Southeast governors not aware that the Ohanaeze NEC Committee engaged all the constitutional requirements before arrival for Aba State which stated that all elected National Assembly and State Assembly members from that area demanding for State must endorse memorandum for State creation including the LGA Chairmen and Councillors who must be elected and must endorse the memo with all the traditional rulers from the area who must also endorse it including the State Governor from the existing State with the condition that the State must show cause of self sustainability without federal allocation and prove of man power, industries, educational institutions etc…?
“Have they forgotten that Aba State would energise the people providing the engine and matrix for industrial revolution capable of impacting positively in all Igbo States? Do they not know that the realization of Aba State means more voices and representations in the national assembly? Are they not convinced that Aba is the heartland of Igboland and that the fruitless and economic death of Adada will serve no benefit to any Igbo? Are Ndigbo not supposed to grab this opportunity pending when the restructuring or self-determination quest is actualized? Why can’t the Southeast governors forcefully grab this recommendation from Nnia Nwodo and send it to Buhari and wait for its promised realization, implementation or failure? Why would you not do your own part of sacrifice?
“What is the problem of Ndigbo? Why can’t we work in unity? Are we accursed? Are our major problems Buhari, the northern hegemony and Fulani supremacy or mostly ourselves? We must avoid being egoistic. We have few local government areas today is not really because of the North or West. It is because our own people never resiliently fought for their rights and agreed in unity when the LGAs were being created. The mindset was, “instead of the LGA coming to you, let’s stop it”. We are completely insensitive.
“Aba needs just a political pronouncement to be snowballed into the Japan or Dubia of Africa. Aba will definitely serve as the Lagos, Kano and Kaduna of Ndigbo respectively had Nnia Nwodo and Southeast governors loved Ndigbo. Ndigbo should query the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Southeast governors on what Buhari conclusively told them in November 2017. In my view, they have sabotaged President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise, effort, kindness and plan to give Ndigbo extra one State.
“I therefore enjoin other Igbo sons and daughters worldwide to appeal to Nnia Nwodo and the Southeast governors to immediately do the needful for the betterment of Ndigbo”, Comrade Paul, stated.