Ohaneze Ndigbo has explained why the people of the South East are no longer comfortable being part of Nigeria, during an interactive forum in Lagos.
Nnia Nwodo, President-General of the socio-political Igbo organisation, while addressing Igbo leaders said this is due to their perceived marginalization by the present Federal Government.
Lamenting that nobody from the South East was heading any security agency in the country. Nwodo claimed that the Federal Government does not trust Igbo people to the extent of appointing any of them to head any of the security agencies or the paramilitary bodies. In his words;
“We don’t feel that we are part of this country. The statement I made earlier was not my thinking alone. Every part of that statement was scrutinised line by line by members of the Ohanaeze executive and we agreed this was the situation before it was issued.
“How can we be comfortable in a country where no Igbo man is heading any of the security services in this country? Not the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Customs Service (NCS), Immigrations, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), State Security Services (SSS), Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
“The impression we have been given is that we are not trusted enough to be put as the head of any security agency. Now, if you drive to the South East, we are like a conquered people. In every major town you go into, there is a military checkpoint. They call it Operation Python Dance.
“If they screen you for arms and ammunition, I will understand that it is national security imperative. But they collect money from you. We are forced to pay.
The Ohaneze Ndigbo leader pointed out that on a particular trip within the southeast, he conspicuously noticed that there are 17 police checkpoints between Enugu and Onitsha. Some just police checkpoints, while some others are police and army checkpoints combined.
Stressing that this does not happen anywhere else in this country, Nwodo said the officers at these checkpoints do not care whether the Inspector-General of Police is coming in an on-coming vehicle or that they are being photographed.
Reiterating his commitment to the Biafran cause, Nwodo who said he was arrested at 82 Division Enugu for making such statements disclosed that he says this at every public forum anytime he has an opportunity. He further pledged to keep harping on the issue.
Just a few days back, a pro-Biafra group, the Biafran Zionists Movement announced that they would declare independence from Nigeria in March 2017.
Leader of the Biafra Zionist Federation (BZF), Barrister Benjamin Onwuka, who was recently released from prison, declared that the Republic of Biafra would be born on the 15th of March, adding that the United States of America will endorse the Biafra independence declaration.
According to Onwuka, the BZF had established diplomatic relations with America, Great Britain and other western powers. The Biafran Zionists Movement leader further claimed that Biafra stretches beyond Igboland and Niger Delta regions as it includes Kogi, Benue, Nasarrawa states and parts of the middle belt.