By Sunday Ani
Following fierce agitations by the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) for a referendum, to determine the fate of Igbo in Nigeria and the subsequent deployment of soldiers in the South East, Igbo leaders are demanding a new Constitution for the country.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, as well as several other Igbo groups have condemned the Federal Government’s use of force to stop IPOB’s agitation.
In an attempt to prevent any untoward development, the Igbo leaders of Thought (ILT) has also lent its voice to call for a restructured Nigeria, as the only solution to growing agitations across the country.
Rising from its meeting in Enugu on Monday, ILT has demanded an early convocation of a constituent assembly.
The constituent assembly, they said, would draft a new constitution for the country.
The group, which reiterated support for restructuring, said the new constitution would be anchored on true federalism and regional autonomy, affirmed through a referendum.
In an-eight-point communiqué signed by its chairman, Professor Ben Nwabueze, the ILT condemned invasion of the South East by the military, through Operation Python Dance II, as well as the humiliation, and attendant killings by the army.
The group also called for the immediate withdrawal of the operation and Crocodile Smile operations in the South West and South South.
Insisting that the greater problem facing Nigeria is the unresolved national question, the group added: “ILT stands with the Ibadan declaration of September 7, 2017, and insists on the power of the federal government being reduced far below what they were under the 1963 Constitution.
“ILT notes and warmly commends the communique by the South South, South East, South West and the Middle Belt coalition, at their Abuja meeting on Thursday October 5, 2017.
“ILT condemns the proscription of IPOB as a terrorist organisation because it is not under extant national and international laws.”
The group also called for a thorough investigation into allegations by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu against the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, for insubordination and by-passing the NNPC board in awarding contracts worht $26 billion.