Leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo have demanded the immediate creation of additional states and local government areas for the South East geopolitical zone – to bring the zone at par with other regions in the country.
With only five states, the South East has the least number of states in the country while others have six states respectively except the North West which has seven states.
Ohanaeze National President, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in a press statement issued on Tuesday, frowned at the lopsidedness against Ndigbo in the political structure of Nigeria, saying it could no longer be tolerated.
In the statement signed by Ohanaeze National Dep
uty Publicity Secretary, Chuks Ibegbu, the pan-Igbo body urged the Federal Government to initiate urgent steps to correct the anomaly before the 2019 general elections.
Ohanaeze insisted on the restructuring of Nigeria to give all the ethnic nationalities a sense of belonging.
The statement read in part: “Ndigbo are at present shortchanged by the least number of states and local governments at their disposal compared to other zones of the country.”
“They have lost more than N300 billion for this deliberate shortchange by those who feel they are the owners of Nigeria”.
According to Ohanaeze, “whether by constitutional or consensual means, the South East urgently needs additional states and local governments”.
Ohanaeze also threw its weight behind Prof. Maduike Ezeibe of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State who recently claimed that he discovered the cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/ AIDS).
The apex Igbo socio-cultural body expressed dismay that instead of commending and encouraging the inventor for his scientific breakthrough, some federal agencies resorted to unnecessary criticisms and baseless condemnation.
“A situation where research findings in Nigeria are ethnicised rather than critically investigated with a view to ascertaining their veracity is condemnable. That act discourages research and discoveries,” Ohanaeze said.
The group, therefore, called on the National Assembly to intervene in the matter and save the inventor from the unwarranted attacks by “retrogressive elements and ethnic bigots.”