Magnus Eze, Enugu and Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Uche Okwukwu, has appealed to the Federal Government to use the occasion of the Democracy Day to look into other injustices meted out to various groups in the country, especially the Igbo.
He lauded Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’s aspiration for the post of deputy Senate president, saying it clearly showed the desire of Igbo to be part of national politics.
He identified the festering issue of abandoned property after the Nigerian civil war and creation of additional state for the South East as two sore points in national polity that deserved immediate attention.
“The injustices meted out to Ndigbo deserve to be addressed. Some visible ones like the abandoned property need to be addressed. It’s not late to say sorry over certain things that had happened.
“Igbo deserve six states in the South East, just like you have six states in other regions with seven in the North West.
“At least, we deserve six states to be at par with the other four-five regions. It’s unfair that when you talk about senators, the South East produces only 15 while every other region in Nigeria produces 18.
“This also affects the number of House of Representatives seats that we have. So, I think it’s important that all practical steps are taken to create an additional state in the South East.”
He described June 12 as a time of restitution and congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, MKO Abiola family and entire Nigerians on its commemoration of Democracy Day.
Okwukwu who had canvassed support for Kalu’s deputy Senate presidency described the former Abia State governor as a loyal party man that would not want to rock the boat.
“From what I gathered, Senator Kalu stated clearly that he would be obedient to whatever position the party leadership and the party have taken.
“So, it’s an honourable and disciplined decision to be obedient to the party that produced you.
“But the message he has sent is that Ndigbo are desirous to be recognised in Nigeria; it’s not him. It’s a good message and it was timely,” he said.
The Ohanaeze scribe said the leadership of the Senate owed Ndigbo major obligation by conceding some plum positions like the leader of the Senat “so that we too can feel that we’re part of the House.”
Okwukwu also urged the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led National Assembly to consider giving the position of majority leader to an Igbo lawmaker as part of moves to correct the imbalance existing in the hallowed chamber.
“Igbo are committed to the fundamentals of justice, equity, fair play, freedom, democracy, rule of law and truth. In like manner, Ndigbo deserve that their plights be addressed through a legislative, political and equitable intervention.”