From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CONEPD), has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being unfair for excluding the South East region in the recent appointment of the service chiefs, describing the act as gross injustice.
CONEPD national Coordinator, Mr. Zana Goni, an engineer, in a statement, yesterday, called on President Buhari, to review the appointment to favour the South East zone in a bid to give them a sense of belonging.
He said: “We also wish to draw the attention of our northern elders to the continual injustice being done to the Igbo nation over the just concluded appointments of service chiefs in the country, where no Igbo man from South East was appointed in two consecutive appointments of service chiefs.
“These appointments to us, remain insensitive and remain unfair until Mr President exercises his discretion by reviewing it to include at least an Igbo officer from the South East.
“Igbo are more Nigerians, more reliable than most tribes in Nigeria. Go to any state and village in Nigeria, you will see an Igbo man doing business there.
“How can we continue to accuse such people of not believing in Nigeria? Is it because of the actions of one fugitive known as Nnamdi Kanu and his group, IPOB and which notable groups, leaders and stakeholders have all come out to denounce several times?
“As it stands in Nigeria today, every region has one security challenge with some groups championing and nobody is holding it against the region. Why is the Igbo’s own different? Why are some mischievous people using IPOB to judge the loyalty of Igbo to Nigeria? Is this fair? Obviously no.
“We believe it is nepotism that is playing out against the Igbo and we appeal to President Buhari to write his name in gold by correcting these wrongs against the South East.”
Goni appealed to all northern elders, stakeholders, opinion leaders to come out and speak for South East people at this time because what goes around must come around.
This is even as he berated stakeholders in the region over what he described as their long silence in the face of unbearable criminal acts by herdsmen across the country thereby denting the image of the region.
“We strongly commend some of our northern clerics who have risen to this occasion and have started speaking out to the Fulani community, especially Sheik Gumi. This singular act and many more are commendable and should be sustained,” Goni said.