John Nwodo, president of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, says most Nigerians are in agreement that the country, as currently structured, “is not working”.
Speaking at the Biafra conference in Abuja on Thursday, Nwodo, a former minister of information, said the experience of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war still dictates the politics of the country.
He said the restructuring of the country should start with its constitution which he said is a military imposition drafted to favour one part of the country.
“At the end of the war an unconscionable policy of impoverishing the Igbo was launched. Before the war, Nigeria lived in peace and unity,” he said.
”Reflecting on the Nigeria-Biafra conflict after 50 years, we have made elaborate efforts to build a united country. The best way to achieve unity is national building. Our present constitution is an imposition of the military.
“Almost all Nigerians agree that Nigeria is not working. We must become more responsive to the world around us. We have for too long allowed the experiences of the war to dictate our politics.”
Nwodo asked the government to direct security agencies to stop their siege and attacks on Biafra protesters and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, and to pursue dialogue with them.
“The government must ask its police and army to stop its action on IPOB and Biafra agitators in the south-east, there is nothing dialogue cannot achieve,” he said.
“Every part of Nigeria can leave independently, but no enclave can be more viable than a united Nigeria. We want a Nigeria that is the collective ownership of all Nigerians, and not by a group or ethnic group that is in power.
“Nigeria cannot prosper as it should. Our country is at a crossroads, and the tension is palpable. Let us rise up a claim a glorious destiny.”
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