From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Following the National Assembly’s shooting down of devolution of powers to states, nine groups in the South East yesterday declared their resolve to no longer participate in ‘Nigerian events’.
The groups, led by the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), rose from an emergency meeting in Enugu saying there would be no election in the region if the country was not restructured.
In their communiqué signed by Dr Alfred Udokwu for South East Elders Union; Rev. Fr. John Odey, Eastern Consultative Assembly; Bishop Mike Ibenene, South East Christian Network; Chief Maria Okwor, Igbo Women Assembly; Chief Chris Obikwelu, Igbo Traders Association; Mazi Chimezie Ubani, Igbo Students Union; Comrade Akpan Effiong, South East/South South Youth Assembly; Elder Richard Okonkwo, Ofuobi Cultural Association and Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, Igbo Youth Movement, the groups accused those opposed to restructuring as “enemies of the people.”
The communiqué reads in part: “Due to the desperate attempts by enemies of equity and justice to sustain by all means this evil unitary structure that has visited untold hardship, misery and disequilibrium on our land, we are now left with no other choice than to embark on civil disobedience and passive resistance, accordingly, our people will no longer participate in their unitary Nigeria events henceforth.
“Having consulted widely among our people, in order to build lasting and binding consensus, before taking final decision, since the spirited but shocking attempts of those fiercely opposed to returning Nigeria back to regional arrangement through a peaceful restructuring process, to insult the entire country by embarking on childish distraction of quit notices and divide and rule tactics, and unhelpful constitutional amendments, all geared towards sustaining the current unitary structure imposed on Nigeria on May 26, 1967, it has become necessary to make public our findings and decision.