Igbos are insulted despite developing Lagos–Ohanaeze Ndigbo President-General, Iwuanyanwu

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, expressed deep concern over the persistent marginalization of the predominantly Igbo Southeastern region in governance, resource distribution, and overall development.

Additionally, he highlighted the unfortunate reality of the Igbo community facing not just neglect but also verbal abuse and insults

During an interview on Arise News Television, the esteemed leader of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group emphasized the significant contributions made by the Igbo people in shaping the trajectory of Lagos and Abuja as pivotal cities within Nigeria.

According to Iwuanyanwu, Nigeria is currently operating a unitary system of government but the Igbo people are asking for “true federalism”.

He added that without proper restructuring, Nigeria will continue to have problems

He said, “One thing is clear, in 1914 when Lugard amalgamated Nigeria, Nigeria had ethnic nationalities. People with different cultures, languages and religions. They were not the same. It was clear to us at that time that the survival of Nigeria would depend on our ability to manage our differences, and of course, our forbears before independence were able to manage it.

“The military intervention in 1966 was absolutely very unfortunate. It was the saddest thing that ever happened to Nigeria. Unfortunately, that is blamed on Igbos. But there was no reason for Igbos to topple that government but it was blamed on us.

“That particular government before independence had a true federal constitution that could be applied and bring a lot of strength to a people who have diverse backgrounds like Nigeria.”

Speaking further, Iwuanyanwu said that Nigeria had a federal constitution from 1960 till 1963 and that it worked for the country but was later changed to a unitary constitution which according to him, “is not right.”

He said, “That is why we in Igbo land are saying, let us have a true federal constitution. What we are operating today is a unitary government, and it doesn’t work for people who have diverse backgrounds

“I believe that the government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu should take steps to see if we can actualise this restructuring of Nigeria. Without a proper restructuring, Nigeria will continue to have problems. There is no way this country can survive.”

He noted that everybody talks about the presidency in Nigeria, arguing that in a “restructured Nigeria, the presidency will not attract so much attention as it does today”.

“Because today, every power is vested in the president,” he said.

He continued, “A child who is born in the South South or South East in the past 30 to 40 years has not even seen a train before. He doesn’t know what it is all about. But we have borrowed money and the whole money borrowed was invested in railway lines from Western Nigeria to Northwest.

“These are some of the problems because the South East was not in power, South South was not in power.

“Specifically on Igbos, our own is very serious. We feel very sad about what is happening to us. When we came together as one country, Lagos became a capital and it was a duty of all Nigerians to come together to develop our capital and our capital, Lagos became the pride of our country.

“Igbos came in and participated. I must tell you, Igbos by nature, once they say they are with you, they are with you. When they make a commitment, they keep to it. Igbos did a lot to develop the place.

“We are not saying that Igbos built Lagos alone, or that there were no other inhabitants, there were. The point is that they (Igbos) played a major role in shaping the destiny of Lagos

“Same thing with Abuja. When Abuja was made the federal capital, Igbos moved in. Today, Igbos are being abused, insulted and called all sorts of names, called greedy because of their efforts to develop Abuja and Lagos.

“Even up to the point that people are now saying that because in the last election, a candidate, Peter Obi, was supported by the majority of Igbos. Mark you, not every Igbo man voted for Obi because this is a democracy, and there were Igbos in APC who voted for APC candidate

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