National confab, panacea for lasting peace in Nigeria – Ohanaeze chieftain

By VINCENT UJUMADU

AWKA — A CHIEFTAIN of  Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prince Chukwuemeka Onyesoh, has said that the convocation of a national conference for all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria would be the solution to the lingering mistrust among Nigerians.

He said the conference became necessary because the framers of the 1999 constitution did not envisage the present problem in the country.

Onyesoh, who is the president of Front Against Impunity, a non governmental organization, NGO, said in a statement in Awka yesterday that he was totally in support of the call by Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) for the country to convene a National Ethnic Conference as a way of solving the problem posed by Boko Haram members.

He said:  “Nigeria has remained a fractured entity since these ethnic killings commenced way back in 1945. Having lived and worked in most Northern cities all their life, members of IDA understand better than most other Nigerians the burden and risks on non-Northerners living and working there.

“They are the ones who get killed and their properties looted or burnt  in the serial riots dating from the Jos riots of 1945 and 1953 to the present ones in  Kano and other places.”

According to him, Nigerians should not continue to shy away from holding a conference to determine their stake in the Nigerian project.

Onyesoh added that the outcome of the conference would safeguard the various ethnic nationalities residing outside their areas.

He Ohanaeze chieftain said he was aware that given the chance, most Northern Muslims would prefer Nigeria to be declared a Muslim state with full blown Sharia, even though at Independence, the North accepted the secularity of the Nigerian state in order to belong to it.

He also said that it was open secret that most Muslim Northern Nigerian politicians had openly or secretly over-worked themselves to subvert the secular aspect of Nigeria as most riots in Northern Nigeria since 1960 had resulted from  that subversive effort to force other Nigerians to become Muslims.

He argued that the much talked about granting amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents and canvassing for dialogue and payment of compensation/rehabilitation for the terrorists, were aimed at Islamizing Nigeria.

He lamented that majority of Nigerian political and business elite were joining in the plea to placate Boko Haram insurgents because of their fear for the disruption of their business empires and political positions.

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