It was the gathering of who is who in Igbo land and their Afenifere friends at the inauguration of newly elected leaders of Ohanaeze Lagos Chapter at the Presidential Banquet Hall, National Arts Theatre, Lagos. CYRIACUS NNAJI reports.
Chief Soloman Ogbonna Aguene and his executive members were on Saturday inaugurated to officially assume their various positions as leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos Chapter.
During the elaborate and high profile event, the apex Pan-Igbo socio-cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and her Yoruba counterpart, Afenifere, used the occasion to further demand for the total restructuring of Nigerian federal system, to allow for equity, justice, and constitutionalism which would ensure growth and development of regions of the country.
Chief John Nnia Nwodo, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, insisted that restructuring will enable Nigerians to live together as one indissoluble country, adding that the reason for restructuring is due to the fact that Ndigbo cannot be drummed into another war.
Nwodo recounted that Biafra and Nigeria involved in the civil war lost in various ways.
“I fought war on the side of Biafran army and we can’t afford another war. Ndigbo lost 3.5 million people to the war. One million were killed, another one million were starved to death and the remaining 1.5 million people got missing, which nobody could account for,” Nwodo added.
At the event which attracted the crème de la crème, including Comdr. Ebitu Ukiwe, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, and an array of first class red cap chiefs, including Eze Ndigbo Lagos, Eze Dr. Christian Nwachukwu, Chief Nwodo didn’t stop at rejecting the 1999 constitution and demanding structuring of the country, he also clarified three key areas of concern, which must be taken seriously if the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria must be realized.
According to Nwodo, there is the need for state’s ownership of police to deal with abuse and unwholesome attitude of federal police.
Nwodo, stated that with state police, the states will not have much business with federal police, except on issues of immigration laws, currency laws or other serious offences, he also wants states to own and control their resources as part of the restructuring agenda.
On education Nwodo said, “Again, we don’t want quota system in Nigeria. We don’t need JAMB. The situation whereby some regions will do so well academically but another less competitive will be given more admission slot under the disguise of quota system and education less-privileged region is wrong.”
Also speaking on restructuring, an elder statesman and former leader of Afenefere, Ayo Adebanjo, who said ‘no restructuring, no Nigeria,’ warned Nigerians against voting any anti-restructuring candidate in the next election, saying that 1999 Constitution of Nigeria was imposed on Nigerians.
In a chat, Hon. Jude Idimogu, the Lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 02 at the Lagos State House of Assembly said he appreciated God for the peaceful conduct of the election that brought in the new executive, saying it was held without any rancor which showed a sound democratic system.
“Without Ohanaeze in Nigeria, of course in Lagos, Igbo man doesn’t have a voice, but now we have a voice and direction, particularly in Lagos State, so that is my joy and that is why I came here to honour them, be in there presence and continue to encourage them, so that together we can always work together to help Lagos, It is very important to have a voice in Lagos, and it is more critical especially now that 2019 is approaching, we must have a voice.”