The Pan Igbo social, political and cultural organisation, the Ohaneze Ndigbo, has demanded the establishment of the South East
Development Commission with the sole objective of tackling the infrastructure deficit in Igbo land, as the panacea to end agitation for the creation of the Biafra Republic.
National President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo youth wing, Mazi Okechukwu Iziguzoro, in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday, said the commission, should have such mandate like that of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the proposed North East Development Commission.
Iziguzoro said lack of federal government presence in the South East geopolitical zone was the main reason for the current agitation for the creation of a separate country for the igbos.
He said, “If there is a strong federal presence in the zone, our youths will not see Biafra as an alternative while fortune and fame seekers will not capitalise on that to hoodwink our gullible youths.
“Talking about infrastructure, there is no federal presence in Igbo land. There are no good roads there and there are no viable industry owned or facilitated to the zone by the federal government that can cater for the employment of the teeming youths.”
He therefore urged the federal government, to as a matter of urgency, put necessary machinery in motion to repair all major roads in the zone, and start construction of the second Niger Bridge, in order to create enabling environment for the establishment of industries.
He said, “We actually need the South East Development Commission that will be a counterpart of the NDDC that will be well funded to comprehensively tackle infrastructure deficit and engage our youths in productive ventures.
“There is also the urgent need to revive the Enugu Coal Mine that had been closed down for 43 years now which can be an alternative power supply to the nation and create employment too. “If the federal government can address these fundamental issues, we believe so much that the Biafra agitations would end.”
He said that the igbos are currently being marginalised either in form of federal appointment or in the allocation of resources to develop infrastructure adding that the south east should be accommodated in the current effort to tackle social infrastructure crisis in the country.
He said the position of Ohaneze Ndigbo was that legal means should be followed in the current agitation for self determination in the South East.
Iziguzoro explained that the group had perfected necessary arrangements to present the need for the inclusion of referendum in the nation’s constitution by sending a delegation to the National Assembly to include it in the proposed constitution amendment.
He also said that the leadership of the Ndigbo had initiated disscussions with the presidency and notable traditional institutions in the country, on how to get the proprietor of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, off the hook.