Marginalised Igbos In The Nigerian Politics:
Fifty years after his administration ended up with an unforgettable brutal civil war with the Igbos, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), clearly said that the Igbo region had been marginalised in the Nigerian government and politics.
General Gowon, who spoke at a public platform sponsored and organized by Igbo Leadership Development Foundation, Begged for the adoption of appropriate measures to curb the pains of the IGBOS in Nigeria.
General Gowon Represented by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, spoke at the debate for National Unity with the theme: “Federal Character, Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential Power in Nigeria.”
The former head of state, who almost caused the Nigerian civil war which ended up with the slogan ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’, maintained that Nigeria is in possession of all it takes to take care of all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion.
The former military ruler, however, suggested the convocation of a constitutional debate on restructuring to undertake a holistic correction of the observable imbalances that had kept Nigeria down over the years with the purpose of making progress and promoting national unity.
“I believe that a lot of injustice has been done to the Igbo and a constitutional debate on restructuring must address all imbalances and restore hope and confidence.
“Nigeria is big enough for all of us and I believe that the Igbo, Middle Belt and the Yoruba are the true Nigerians because if you look round our borders, people came from abroad and are still coming but Ndigbo have always been there, Middle Belt people have always been there, even Yoruba have always been there.
He added, “People who came in yesterday who have a duty of respect are now the ones talking. Going forward, we must create a federal democracy that will respond positively to all the aspirations of our people not about East-West but all about working together in equality, bringing in the youths and the women to build a new Nigeria”
The former head of state stressed that Nigeria is not complete without Ndigbo, adding that the nation needed to properly harness the intelligence, creativity and hard work of Ndigbo for national development, progress and stability.
Gowon who stated that God did not make mistake by making Ndigbo part and parcel of Nigeria. therefore, called for justice, equity and fairness in the country.
Gowon posited that while restructuring was critical to national advancement, it must be carried out in an atmosphere of peace and oneness.
”I am not a friend of hate speech and bitterness but a friend of patriotism because Nigeria is dear to my heart and I believe in bright future of Nigeria and Ndigbo and that together, we can make our country great,” he said.
Image Source: Yakubu Gowons’s File