By Sunday Ani
Founder of the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, has lambasted the South East leaders for failing to tell President Muhammadu Buhari the reason agitation continues to grow in the zone.
He also flayed the violence, especially the wanton wasting of precious lives but said the leaders should have told the president the real issues pushing the younger generation of Ndigbo to want to opt out of Nigeria.
South East governors and leaders in the zone had last week at an emergency security meeting in Enugu dissociated themselves from the secessionist agitation for a separate state of Biafra and reaffirmed their commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equal rights, fairness, love and respect for another.
Evangelist Uko argued that the leaders would have been honest enough to tell the president that the unitary structure of the government, feeling of exclusion and marginalisation, dichotomy applied in the day-to-day life of the average youth, including state-of-origin dichotomy, the several military operations in the zone, the brigandage of the herdsmen and the inability of the Security and law enforcement agencies to rein them in, poverty, inflation, weak electoral process, impunity, hunger and inequality, among other factors which festered for long are responsible for secessionist agitations, not only in the southeast but in other regions.
He noted that as leaders, they ought to have stood wholeheartedly with the people and leaders of all the regions, who believe that a wholesome restructuring of the polity was the way to go.
He expected them to have pleaded with Mr. President to work with all arms of government, regions and leaders in the country, towards an early restructuring of Nigeria, for therein lies the solution to the issues bedeviling the land today.
He also expected the leaders to have called on the youths to refrain from violence of any sort and work together with the leaders in search of a peaceful resolution of the situation.
But Elliot, who is also the secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) commended the leaders for talking about the rules of engagement, careful and cautious investigations and keeping the peace as well as showing the desire to reach out, engage and collate grievances to present to the central government.