George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Arising from first Igbo National Summit on Peace, Security and Development, a coalition of Igbo groups and stakeholders have called for an autonomous region for the Southeast to fully control her territory, resources, executive, legislative and her judicial institutions.
The summit expressed apprehension on the deliberate act of manipulation by the British colonial authorities, who through manipulation of the Federal structure and census, left power in the hands of the Fulani minority.
This is as they noted that Nigeria as presently constituted is a phantom political state, which has lost all basic principles of rule of law, justice, equity, and humane values, as anarchy now prevails in all spheres of the society.
The event, which was presided over by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzo, chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, was assisted by His Lordship, Bishop Obi Udezue Onubogu, Overseer, Rock Cathedral, Enugu.
They pointed out that given the unabated militarization of the Southeast by extortionist police and military agents of state, the senseless and conscienceless killings of the people of the Southeast by marauding Fulani herdsmen with the tacit support of the president, that the people of the region have lost confidence in the Federation of Nigeria to grant their safety.
This was contained in the communique issued at the end of the first Igbo National Summit on Peace, Security and Development of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) and her neighbours held in Owerri, Imo State capital on Friday called “Owerri Declaration”.
The communique reads in part: “That the endemic instability in the federation has been due to an inherent incompatibility of values between the dominant religions, traditions, and cultures of its indigenous ethnic nationalities. But this has been made worse by the deliberate act of manipulation of British colonial authorities who through manipulation of the federal structure and census left power in the hands of the Fulani minority.
“What is more, political stability is anchored on fundamental principles of democracy, rule of law and equity. Unfortunately, the Fulani minority does not understand let alone believe in these basic norms of coexistence among peoples. This truth has been brazenly asserted by the Fulani National Movement (FUNAM) when in a recent statement in which they declared their resolve to fully conquer the rest of the federation, FUNAM referred to what it called ‘irresponsible western notion of democracy’, which it said was imposed in order to undermine their territorial ambition.”
The Igbo group maintained that the Republic has been seized by one ethnic nationality namely, the minority Fulani which does not hide their intentions to wipe out the indigenous populations and turn the territory into an Islamic state.
“Against this background of worrisome escalating insecurity, fear and horror in our homeland, threats to our continued existence as a people more so in the face of mounting pressure of occupation by alien terrorist Muslim Fulani herdsmen, we hereby declare that our people are no longer willing to live a life of meaningless existence in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And, therefore, urge that Ndigbo and her willing neighbours to be regarded as an Autonomous Region, with the right to full control of her territory, resources, executive, legislative and judicial institutions. Consequently, we are compelled to call for a plebiscite to secure our God-given homeland, propelled by our collective will to self-determination”.