Dear Onye Igbo,
We are happy to note that the first question presented to Vice President Namadi Sambo when he had a Town Hall meeting with Nigerians in Canada on May 4, 2013, was posed by the Igbo Union of Canada and it was specifically on the National Conference issue. This was our question:
Considering the fact that Boko Haram has rejected your Administration’s offer of Amnesty and has promised continued and more severe terrorist activities until a Sharia State is achieved in Nigeria, suggesting a possible religious civil war, the consequences of which we all can imagine, why is it difficult for your government to support the call for a National conference where the various stakeholders (Regions) will determine the terms of our continued existence as one country?
The Vice President probably took our question to President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and he has recently inaugurated a Committee to decide on the modalities for a National Conference. This National Conference is therefore a topic of interest to Igbo people and we shall appreciate every opportunity to be represented in its discussion.
We are pleased to learn that NIDOA is appealing to ethnic nationalities in the Diaspora to constitute themselves into blocks and forward their concerns, issues and opinions for onward transmission to the National Conference Committee.
Igbo Union of Canada has applied and has been registered to participate in these discussions.
As Igbo people, this is an opportunity for us to tell Nigeria how we truly feel about our continued partnership in this Nigerian federation. We shall not shy away from the realities of all that has happened to the Igbo people in Nigeria and we shall hold ourselves responsible if we do not speak up now and pretend that all is well or going to be well for the Igbo in Nigeria. We should spell out the conditions of our continued membership in Nigeria or better still, we should ask for that which will actually make every Igbo person happy, pleased and perpetually fulfilled with a deep sense of nationalism and patriotism – The land of the Rising Sun. Let us ask for it and let Nigeria negotiate by promising to correct all the inequities, injustices and marginalizations that have been perpetrated against the Igbo or let Nigeria decide to let “this Igbo people” go.
This should be our focus and bargaining stand point if we really want to be rehabilitated from our present position of a defeated, humiliated, humbled and cheated people in Nigeria. We have been offered this opportunity now and if we miss it or misuse it we shall continue to remain in Nigeria among our haters and oppressors and shall forever accept our fate and hold our peace as second class citizens.
Our demand from Nigeria is simple – give us our autonomy and allow us to define our destiny. It does not matter the ills that are bedevilling our Zone now, like armed robbery and kidnapping. Those problems we shall deal with as a nation.
Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that the Federal government is not serious about this National Conference idea. Let us go into it with every sense of seriousness and responsibility and speak with one voice about our most essential desire as a people, believing that Nigeria will grant us “this our one request” – Biafra.
If this request is rejected, then Nigeria should be prepared to address the ills of marginalization, injustices and inequities that are meted to the Igbo people on a regular basis since after the Civil war. We shall demand among other things:
– The creation of more States in Igboland
– The creation of more Local governments in Igbo States
– The establishment of more Federal Institutions (not Prisons) in Igboland
– The construction of durable roads and bridges across Igbo land
– The zoning of the Presidency to the South East in 2019
– The renaming the South East Zone to Biafra
– The establishment of a Confederation of Nigerian Zonal Areas (CONZA)
This Confederation of equal nationalities will ensure that the above adjustments will be enshrined in the Constitution endorsed by the United Nations and we shall be prepared to remain in Nigeria. Anything short of the above arrangements is unacceptable to NdiIgbo and will call for a National Plebiscite or Referendum aimed at dismantling the Amalgamation of the North and South.
Dear Onye Igbo, we know you have more to add to this write up. Then come to the Igbo Union meeting on Sunday October 20, 2013 and have your say.