The youth wing of apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Wednesday, told the South-East Governors to rise to the occasion as the September ultimatum on the ban on open-grazing draws to a close.
ANG recalls that the Southern Governors had during their last meeting in Lagos set September 1, 2021 as the deadline for the ban on open-grazing in the region.
However, with less than one month to go, no Southeast State has passed law banning open-grazing.
Addressing a press briefing in Enugu, the National President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike urged the governors to immediately transmit executive bill to the Houses of Assembly to that effect.
The group also asked the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to reconsider the sit-at-home it declared with effect from next Monday.
Ohanaeze equally declared that the Nigeria President of Igbo extraction was non-negotiable in 2023.
Full text of the press briefing bellow:
Today, I welcome you all to this press briefing on behalf of the millions of Igbo youths at home and in the diaspora.
We have keenly watched events both in the polity and in Igboland and this is the time to make our stand known as we continue to push for the restoration of our place in the polity.
May we state clearly that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Worldwide under my leadership stand totally for the defense of the interest of Ndigbo. We will never allow anything that will go against the collective interest and unity of our people.
Nigeria has evolved through a process from the return to democracy in 1999 till date and there is no doubt that Ndigbo have borne the brunt of the ups and downs of the country in these years. They have been victims of all manner of attacks, segregation and political exclusion. It became worse under the present administration where anyone from the South-East is viewed to be not good enough to hold any sensitive position, aside the statutory ministerial positions. We have seen cases where Igbo men and women retire or complete their tenures in agencies only for the Federal Government to swiftly appoint their replacement from the Northern part of the country. A recent case in point is the NECO registrar, who was gruesomely murdered only to be replaced by a Northerner. We consider this an affront on Ndigbo and it has to be addressed. This is not to talk of the total absence of a Southeaster in the top security echelon of this country.
As 2023 draws near, our stand is simple- it is a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction or nothing. If indeed we are still considered to be part of this country, the time has come for other regions to show Ndigbo some respect and proof of acceptability. 2023 is no doubt the turn of Ndigbo to produce the next President going by the zoning arrangement which favours the Southern Nigeria. Down here in the South, apart from the South-East, every other region has had a shot in that coveted position. It is, therefore, undoubtedly the turn of an Igbo man to occupy the Aso Building after President Muhammadu Buhari has completed his tenure. This is a sure way to assuage the feelings of the people of the South-East. You cannot beat a child and ask him not to cry. Our people have been sorely beaten and brutalised and the only way to wipe their tears and heal the wound is 2023 presidency. To this end, we ask both the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to zone their presidential ticket to the South-East. Other political parties should also follow suit.
NNAMDI KANU/IPOB ORDER
We once more express deep concern over the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. We have earlier condemned the manner with which he was brought into the country, defying all international laws and conventions. Be that as it may, we urge the Federal Government that going forward, his rights and the orders given by the same court where is standing trial must be respected. He should have access to his lawyer and family members as ordered by the court. We equally beg Igbo leaders not to abandon Nnamdi Kanu in his moment of trial. He may have erred in some of his strategies but this is not a time for blame games. We must save one of our own, who we consider a political prisoner and only a political solution is the sure-rest way to his freedom. A delegation of the South-East leaders should as quickly as possible be sent to the Federal Government to facilitate his immediate release.
On the sit-at-home declared by the IPOB leadership starting from next Monday, we appeal that the decision be reconsidered in the interest of our people. May we not forget that most of the people we are fighting for are artisans who feed on their daily incomes and asking them to remain at home after the weekend break would impose serious economic burden on them. Besides, the National Examination Council, NECO, examination is also on-going and our youths, the future of tomorrow are taking part in that exam. Would we now say they should miss their examinations on such days? Our humble appeal is that we seek a political solution to this matter. We will not fail to thank the members of the IPOB for maintaining peace and resisting the temptation to protest, in the midst of provocation.
We have less than one month to the deadline giving by the Southern governors for a total ban on open-grazing. We have waited, we have watched but no State in the South-East has passed the anti-open grazing law. This is a time for action. They must not disappoint millions of Igbos because posterity will not be fair on them. Without wasting more time, the governors should transmit executive bills to the Houses of Assembly to that effect. The life of our people, especially our women and young girls who are being raped everyday, and our poor rural dwellers being mowed down everyday should not be left under the altar of political exigency. The time to act is now.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, last month commenced continuous voters’ registration. However, we are not pleased with the data we are getting. As usual, our people are occupying the rear. This should not be so, this is a time to put every other thing aside and get our voters’ cards. It is our weapon, it is our future. I ask all Igbo youths to become PVC ambassador wherever you are. We specifically call on all Biafra agitators to encourage their members and supporters to obtain the PVC as it will help their course, especially as a means of identification in the case of a referendum.