Five states from the South East geo-political zone comprising Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia State under the auspices of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo are demanding a whooping sum of N2.4 trillion from the Federal Government as compensation for the casualties of the civil war.
The demand was contained in a letter signed by Mbazulike Amechi and Raph Obioha, chairman and secretary of Reparation Committee of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and was attached to a document distributed to the delegates of the ongoing National Conference, with a copy sent to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group also solicited an apology for the wrongs meted on them (Igbos) by the government.
According to Premium Times, the group demanded that each affected states should be given the sum of N400 billion respectively. It said the aforementioned amount should also be paid to Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state.
The group further requested the Federal Government to invest in a considerable re-planning of Igbo states with modern structures, urban water works, a kind of Marshall Plan often used for war-ravaged area.
Below is an excerpt from the 28-page letter titled “Ohanaeze Ndigbo: Atrocities and Injustices Against Ndigbo.”
“It is incalculable to put a price on the death of millions of Igbos who were killed in the civil war and on other occasions. The Federal Government should pay N400 billion each to the five states of the South East as compensation to those who lost loved ones, lost properties, and those still suffering dislocation today in Nigeria. The same amount should also be paid to the government of Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state” it said.
The Committee recalled the Igbo suffering during the 30 months war, noting that they never conspired nor planned any military mutiny against the state of Nigeria in 1966. It described the military action against them as annihilation, pogrom and planned tribal cleansing of the magnitude of extermination on the pretext of resolving the “Igbo question,” pointing out that the main function of state is to “guarantee the security and safety of its citizens, and not turn its weapons against defenceless people; waging war against them, imposing policies that marginalises them, declines to compensate them and act as if all is well.
It stated that any loss of life caused by the state was a crime against humanity, saying; the Igbos had suffered in Nigeria, and called on the government to set up a committee to work out the compensation to settle the civil war issue. It alleged that the Igbo race survived through the grace of God, considering what they have been through in time past.
“Starting from 1945, Igbos have been killed with the connivance of state authorities to appease misguided angers of local people especially on religious grounds. Let us consider than an Indian writer, Rushdie, wrote the blasphemous book against Islam, Igbos living in northern cities of Nigeria were butchered in thousands for something they knew absolutely nothing about. The targeting of Igbos for the slightest provocation which the Igbos have absolutely nothing to do with has become so common place and hardly has the government made any resolution to assuage the damages” it said.
The committee cited the Niger Delta militant issue and role the president played, saying: “Your Excellency may question why now. The Igbos feel confident as a people that you are a man of conscience, a man of equity and above all, a leader who insists that justice must prevail at all times. Providence has placed you at the position to resolve this issue once and for all; after all you were pivotal in the peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta militancy. The jackboot approach at Odi and Zaki Ibiam was totally condemned by the civilized world.”