From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CONEPD), has backed Ohanaeze Ndigbo in faulting the exclusion of the South East in the appointment of service chiefs and appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to review it for the sake of national unity.
CONEPD National Coordinator, Zana Goni, in a statement, yesterday, appealed for calm, adding that it would mount pressure on the president to include an Igbo in the security architecture.
“We completely throw our weight behind Ohanaeze Ndigbo on their position over the appointments of the new service chiefs. We vehemently appeal to Mr. President for a review of the appointments to accommodate our Igbo brothers from the South East in line with the federal character principle of the country. We are absolutely sure that taking this action will make the designers of our country happy where they are watching.
“However, the composition of the service chiefs greeted us with mixed feelings and sincere concerns. We strongly believe that the list does not meet a fair list as it is lacking in fairness, justice, and equity to the south easterners.
“We thought some lessons would have been learnt by the Presidency by now that the Igbo too are also Nigerians and deserve to be fairly and godly treated. How can there be appointment of two sets of service chiefs without any Igbo among them? Is this fair? What exactly has the Igbo people done to deserve this kind of unfair treatment? Our checks revealed that Igbo have senior and very qualified military officers in the Navy, Army, and Airforce who are serving faithfully in their various capacities! What is their sin? We appeal to Mr President to have a retrospection over this his latest appointments and do the needful because we feel that if it is not addressed soon, people like Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB will certainly continually make supporters of APC and your admirers from the South East region laughing stock of your administration. As northerners, we must speak the truth even as we are the major beneficiaries of this perceived injustice because until justice is done to all, the search for permanent peace in the country may just be a mirage. We strongly believe that justice and equity are the major ingredient of peace.”