From ThankGod Ofoelue
The former Chief of General Staff, Navy Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd) says the present structure of the country negates
equity, justice and fairness in many aspects of our national life, just as he says the open cattle grazing is no longer sustainable.
Commodore Ukiwe, who served as the de facto vice president of the country during the President Ibrahim Babangida
military government, made these remarks during the just concluded fourth anniversary celebration of Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) held in Enugu, the Enugu State capital,
from April 25 to 26, 2018.
Commodore Ukiwe, who was chairman of the two-day event, attended by various scholars, traditional and religious leaders, business magnates, captains of industry and professionals of Igbos extraction, urged the ADF to a�?analyse realistically issues that confront Ndi Igbo, and come up with specific recommendations to aid Ndi Igbo leadershipA�in decision making.a�? SeveralA�burning national issues including Fulani terrorism, Biafra, restructuring, unity among the Igbo, and security, featuredA�prominently during the event held at the prestigious
Base Event Centre, Independence Layout, Enugu.
The event also witnessed the
presentation of the ADF Memi??orandum, popularly known as the a�?Green Book.a��
a�?It is a�� necessary to take up the issue of restructuring to achieve equity, fairness and freedom for the component federating units of the country,a�? Ukiwe
challenged the audience. Speaking on the growing insecurity in the country, the
retired naval officer said: a�?We must take a second and serious look at the complex structure, training and motivation of the
defense forces of the nation to align them with the philosophy and the National interest of the country.
a�?The military and other dei??fense forces are agencies of govi??ernment, and should be viewed
together with the performances
of government of the day.a�?
On Open Grazing, he said: a�?it is obvious that the issue of uncontrolled grazing of cattle acrossA�the country is not sustainable anymore, in view of the developing ecology population
growth and agricultural development in the country.
a�?The old process of herding cattle in a medieval fashion that sustained it all these while is nowA�obsolete in consideration with the national developmental strides in the country.
a�?It is, therefore, necessary that a serious look at re-designing animal husbandry that suits the nation at this point in time is undertaken.
a�?Definitely, the idea of herdsmen carrying military assault weapons arrogantly across the nationA�as if to cow down the populationA�is offensive and unacceptable to the Nigerian soi??ciety, and should, therefore, be stopped immediately.a�?
In his presentation, President General of ADF, Prof. Uzodini??ma Nwala, stated that the ADF Memorandum titled: a�?The Future of Alaigbo, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,a�? popularly called, a�?The Green Booka�� will answer questions about Ndigbo and their future as Nigerians.
Nwala enumerated areas covered by the a�?Green Booka�� to include the roots of the perennial instability of the country; previousA�attempts to restructure the country and why they failed; predicament of Ndi Igbo, with particular emphasis on the roles of the British in creating an artificial federation with Igbo as underdogs.
According to him, the document also includes issues bordering on the possibility of having autonomy for Ndi Igbo, with a constitution, flag, rei??gional government and control of the economy.
Nwala, who is a professor of Igbo philosophy, urged all IgbosA�to obtain and study the document, and make it a working document, saying it would answer the questions of Biafra, Alaigbo and Nigeria.
He explained that there was no rivalry between ADF and Ohaneze, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, adding that ADF is not seeking to replaceA�Ohaneze, a�?since their goals are different, though related.a�?
a�?Alaigbo Development Foundation is neither a rival norA�a replacement for Ohaneze Ndigbo as an Igbo national socio-cultural organization.
a�?ADF is to work with governments (Zonal, State, LGA and Community), various pan Igbo organisations and individuals inA�Alaigbo and Igbo diaspora to helpA�sharpen the vision of the
Founding Fathers of Ohaneze Ndigbo; to work for the actualisation of that vision to ensure that those elected into positions of leadership of Ohaneze abide
by the vision and constitution of
Ohaneze Ndigboa�?, explained the
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Bishop UdezueA�Onubogu, urged Ndi Igbo to bring their businesses
He said: a�?The city of Enugu welcomes you. Once Enugu was called the resting city of the East, however, we know better. There is real money here. The entire Ani Igbo exude with untapped
a�?That is what ADF saw and ani??nounced a�?Akurueulo(investing at home). Thank God it has become a sing-song for all as was actuallyA�intended by the ADF.
a�?The call is simple. Wherever youA�are, bring back home part of your business, especially your head quarters. If only 500,000 ofA�such businesses are established and they employ just an average of four people each, we would have created 2 million jobs, and that would signal the end of unemployment.a�?
Speaking on the issues of self-determination and Biafra, theA�initiator of the legal and political pursuit for Biafra, Barrister Emeka Emekesiri, recommended self-determination as the surest way to attain the desires of Ndi Igbo, saying this canA�be achieved through full participation in politics and application of the laws of Nigeria.
His words; a�?What is the desi??tination and direction of Ndi Igbo today? I know there are alot of arguments on restructuri??ing going on. When I discussed withA�Chief Nnia Nwodo, president- general of Ohaneze, he told me that what he is pursuing is also what I am pursuing. He called it restructuring, but I call it devolution of powers or regional government.
a�?Assuming they give us regional government, the next question is, what about the Igbos in the South-South, and
Middle-Belt? At that stage, they
also have the right to make demands that they want to go on their separate ways. That is the law of self- determination. Ita��s a lawA�of the United Nations and Nigeria is signatory to that law.
a�?Now, we have activated our political movement called Movement of Biafrans in Nigeria (MOBIN), and we are playi??ing politics. We have told them thatA�we are Biafrans living in Nigeria. The Federal Government knows us, they know me.
a�?We are indigenous people and international law says that indigenousA�people have the right to self-determination. EvenA�the Bible says that the remnants shall take root and
grow and bear fruits. So we the
remnants of Biafrans are supi??ported by spiritual, national and international laws.a�?
He added a caveat: a�?But I want to warn Ndi Igbo, not to give them opportunity to wipe us away. They are provoking
us, but we will refuse to be provoked.a�?
Distinguished members of the audience who also spoke at the event, includes Her Royal Majesty, Obi Igwe Martha
Dunukwu (Omu Okpanam), Igwe Abel Nwobodo of Nara, DrA�Oseloka Obaze, Dr Ezichu Chukwu.
Others were Prof. Elo Amui??cheazi, Barr Max Onyeukwu, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Colonel Justino Ezeoke, Prof. Nathan
Aniekwu (Ozo), Dr. Luke Nnaemeka Aneke, Rev Fr Barr Ezeoke, Prof Maurice Iwu, Comrade Uchenna Madu, Tony Nnadi and Barr Charles Effiong