Three Igbo socio-cultural associations yesterday faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo appeal on Ndigbo to accept Nigeria as their country since, “there was enough bread for everybody,” saying that Obasanjo was one of the major ailments plaguing the country.
They said that the only solution to the nation’s problems was immediate restructuring of the country into six regions.
Obasanjo had Thursday asked Nigerians to beg Ndigbo to come back to the fold and stop agitations for a separate Republic of Biafra.
However, the Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA; Igbo Youth Forum, IYM; and the Igbo Women Assembly, IWA, also, accused of Obasanjo of dancing around the issues causing disunity in the country as, according to them, he (Obasanjo) had once advised President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, calling them miscreants and fraudsters.
According to them, it was on the strength of the said advice to Buhari that armed security agencies that mowed down innocent Igbo youths who were praying at a secondary school in Aba, Abia State, last year.
In its reaction to the statement credited to Obasanjo, the Publicity Secretary of ECA, Rev. Fr. John Odey said, “Obasanjo’s statement is medicine after death. Courting Ndi Igbo like women without restructuring Nigeria will achieve nothing. Begging them to come back; that there is enough cake for everybody is unhelpful.
“The solution is immediate restructuring of Nigeria into six regions without further delay. Obasanjo knows that, (but) he chooses to dance around the issues, deliberately avoiding the truth.
“He should go and sit down.”
Also, the Founder of IYM and Deputy Secretary: Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, lamented that Obasanjo called Igbo youth’s miscreants but asked Ndigbo to forgive the former President for allegedly repenting from his abuse of Ndigbo.
He said, “Obasanjo has clearly repented and is probably remorseful of his early position in calling the much abused, long suffering and oppressed youth of Eastern Nigeria miscreants and fraudsters.
“We should forgive him and plead with him to advise Buhari, his good friend to do the needful and return Nigeria to six regions without delay.
“The window to save Nigeria is fast closing, soon even restructuring will no longer be acceptable to the millions of angry youth of Eastern Nigeria. His plea for negotiations is late in the day. Only immediate restructuring can save Nigeria now.”
IWA also spoke through its leader, Chief (Mrs) Marie Okwor who spoke on “Obasanjo’s gaffe,” saying, “Obasanjo is a joker; he knows the right thing, which is immediate restructuring, he does not want to say it.
“Nothing can save Nigeria now except immediate return to six regions and a new constitution. Obasanjo is part of the problem. Massaging us like women or begging us not to leave Nigeria will not solve the problem. The delay to restructure the regions is dangerous.”