We have had two constitutional conferences during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan governments. We don’t even need to have a sovereign national conference. If the National Assembly members can be honest with themselves, they should form a committee of both chambers and call it a restructuring committee.
AN Igbo leader and chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has expressed reservations over agitations by some groups calling for the balkanization of the nation.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Iwuanyanwu noted that restructuring doesn’t mean division of the nation, and dismissed the calls of secession by some young people.
Welcoming the agitations for restructuring as an appropriate way to address the numerous challenges confronting the country, he said, “I just want everyone to accept this restructuring, and after all, this issue of restructuring is not a complicated one.
‘‘We have had two constitutional conferences during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan governments. We don’t even need to have a sovereign national conference.
‘‘If the National Assembly members can be honest with themselves, they should form a committee of both chambers and call it a restructuring committee.
‘‘We need a system where people can stay in their states, create industries and get jobs,’’ he said.
Distancing Ndigbo from the calls for secession, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain said that Igbo never mandated anybody to talk about breaking away from the country.
According to him, ‘‘I was the Chairman of Planning and Strategy of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, so when you talk of any decision on the Igbo, it must have my consent.
‘‘Igbo have never mandated anybody to talk about secession. People should stop generalising the comments of individual as if it were the view of the Igbo in general.
‘‘We all stand for one Nigeria and in future if anybody makes a statement, nobody should generalise and say it is Igbo.”
According to him, there are good and terrible people amongst the Igbo as it is in other tribes.
On the suspended quit notice to Ndigbo in the North, Iwuanyanwu said that ‘‘many Igbo in the north have been coming to me asking me of what to do; I want to assure them that nobody is going to hurt them.
‘‘I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari has said that anyone who made threatening comments would be disciplined and he said he would put security measures to protect them, therefore, the Igbo shouldn’t go anywhere.
‘‘We have heard that some youths have reversed the call for the exit of the Igbo from the north and l am happy that Nigerian leaders as well as the governors are coming up to say that Igbo are safe in their places.’’