The Executive Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has advised the federal government to address some of the grievances of members of popular secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Ikpeazu believes some of the issues raised by IPOB are valid and should be given attention to ensure Nigeria’s peace and unity remains strong.
Over the years, IPOB, has lamented and accused the federal government of marginalizing the Igbo tribe and has held firm their resolve to secede and form a new nation, Biafra. Governor Ikpeazu made his opinion public during an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
I have taken my time to listen to some of these issues raised by IPOB: issues about injustice, issues of marginalisation, issues of trust deficits within the polity called Nigeria as it concerns people from south-eastern Nigeria. And I think some of those are valid issues and they should be addressed and spoken to. They should be addressed squarely. So that everybody and those of us that are in government today can have a foothold within the southeast region to continue to promote the unity of Nigeria
He went further to reveal his displeasure at IPOB’s strategy of pressing their aims, but emphasized on equal rights and justice for all Nigerian citizens.
‘’I do not subscribe to the strategy of IPOB in pursuing their goals. And the reason is because I’m yet to see the end of the tunnel from where I’m standing and I do not like to take a plunge in the dark. We must engage and discuss the issue which is bothering them and everybody and we can’t continue to pretend as if these issues are not valid.
Equal rights and justice is an indelible right of all citizens and if through impunity and carelessness we allow a group of people to begin to feel like they’re not rightly represented within the polity, it creates a lacuna where people are no longer confident in the government to protect them and take care of their interest within the polity. There’s bound to be agitation one way or another. Some of these reactions may extrapolate to levels that may undermine national convention and unity’’
Featured Image Source: Premium Times NG