– Want Igbo person as service chief
– Restates committment to unity of country
A coalition of South East group of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has made an appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint someone from the South East geo-political as a service chief.
The coalition said this was necessary to give the region a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project.
The group operating under the umbrella of Coalition of South East APC Integrity Group (COAPCIG), said it would be in the interest of fairness and equity in line with the nation’s federal character principles.
In a statement on Friday signed by it’s National Coordinator, Dr Emeka Nwosu and National Secretary, Mrs Amarachi Obinna, COAPCIG however commended the president for the appointment of new and energetic military chiefs.
Describing itself as “a group of APC grassroots mobilizers who worked for the victory of our dear party in 2015, 2019, and we shall work in 2023 for total victory of the party in the South East”, the group said: “We write with sincere heart to express our appreciation to the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the first step in rejiggering the security architecture by sacking the former service chiefs.”
According to the coalition, “This is a right step in the right direction and a beginning of a journey to an effective security framework of the country.”
It added: “We, however, wish to make a very deep observation concerning the composition of the service chiefs which again, does not include anyone from the South East. This to us, is another heart-breaking news that we beg the president to correct soonest.”
It said, “The Ndigbo were in high expectations that whenever the president was rejiggering this core security management, which include the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff, a competent Igbo son will be appointed to give us a sense of belonging, but to our greatest surprise, the president did not.”
“This, we find to be very disturbing, and we therefore, appeal to Mr President to have a second thought about his action.
“We are bothered about his exclusion of Igbo people in his key appointments including the latest appointments of service chiefs. We feel that he would give the igbo Nation a true sense of belonging and naturally endeared him more to the heart of Igbo nation worldwide thereby clearing the erroneous impression that APC government does not like the Igbos if he reviews his latest action,” the group said.
The group warned against using the region’s land mass and its previous population census figure to intimidate the region, saying no tribe in Nigeria should be neglected.
“We wish to remind those who may be using the land mass and the last census figures of the South East to judge the capacity of Ndigbo.
These people may have also misled the president that they can do without igbos. We wish to remind such people that there is no single tribe in Nigeria that has the national and international spread like the Igbo tribe. There is almost no village in Nigeria that you won’t see an Igbo man doing one business or the other.
Similarly, there is no country in the world that you won’t see an Igbo man. This goes to show that we are people of capacity. This strength, we are harnessing in 2023 to support an APC presidential candidate,” the group said
It reaffirmed its unshakable support for the Nigerian project, saying: “We are proudly Nigerians in the South East and have no plans to support the few criminals under the guise of IPOB, so it will be wrong to see people of the South East in that light by anyone”, adding, “that will be so ungodly and unfair to us as a people.”
“Majority of South Easterners are responsible business men and women who have investments in every part of Nigeria especially in the North and will never support cessation or IPOB for any reason, hence it’s wrong that mischievous people still feel that an Igbo man cannot be trusted with such sensitive security appointment this is unacceptable.
“Mr President, this insinuation is not only wrong and unfair, it is evil and malicious,” it said.
It added: “We therefore, appeal to you for a review to accommodate the Igbos, this will give us a sense of belonging and also give the APC members in the South reasons to win the entire South East states.”
It condemned IPOB and all its activities in the South East, especially the recent killing of what it described as “innocent security personnel in Orlu, Imo State” saying “we call on the Nigerian Army and the security forces to be decisive with them.”
“IPOB is a terrorist group as recognized by the Nigerian law. The group and its adherents do not deserve to be treated with kid gloves. They don’t have our support in the South East,” it said.