By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal lawmakers in the 9th National Assembly from South East zone on Wednesday threw their weight behind agitation against marginalisation of the region by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Lawmakers operating under the aegis of South East Caucus of the National Assembly chaired by the ex-Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekwerwemadu at an extra ordinary session held in Abuja on Wednesday, said the people of the zone are pained at the turn of events that gives credence to agitation by the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB).
In a communique obtained by Sundiata Post in Abuja which was signed by the lawmakers, they reiterated their quest for a level playing ground to enable them realize the development of their homeland.
Part of the communique reads: “We expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth.
“The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The Caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo are able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actualise their enormous potentials in every part of the country, unmolested.
In agitation to pursue development of the South East, lawmakers said, criminal elements shouldn’t use the opportunity to wreck havoc on lives and properties of the people, while strongly condemned the sit-at-home orders by IPOB.
“Reviewed the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of our people. The Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon our region.
The lawmakers condemn in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, saying the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was scuttled by armed men wasn’t in the interest of the zone.
Meanwhile, attackers believed to be members of IPOB after chasing away students who were writing exams, set ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers.
The communique further read: “This is certainly not who we are as a people. On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people.
“Equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East.
“This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.
“Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties, but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.
“Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in regard.
“Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat.
“It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age grades, Umuada.
“The result is the comparative transformation witnessed in every nook and cranny of Igbo land post-civil war. Therefore, as a people, we cannot begin to undermine ourselves or become our own nemesis.
“Times like these call for introspection. We must also always bear in mind that our people thrive on industry, commerce, and the informal sector. Importantly, most of our people depend on daily income.
“Therefore, while we must fight for our rights and legitimately express our displeasures over every form of mistreatment, injustice, and inequity, we certainly cannot afford to be the proverbial lizard that ruined his mother’s funeral. Anything that threatens Igbo businesses, the peace, security, and stability of the South East threatens our very existence as a people.
“Consequently, bearing in mind that if we allow cracks in the wall, lizards will invade our home, we must all pull together as one people to discourage and resist any tendencies and actions, within or without, which pollute our business environments or encourages anarchy and instability in our region.”
The called for cooperation of other zones in the country to reconstruct a federal system in order to realise the socio-economic prosperity of the nation.