Igbos write Jonathan, demand N2.4 trillion reparation for Civil War killings

National Conference in plenary

The Igbo also demand a state apology for wrongs said to have been visited on the race.

The South East geo-political zone has demanded the payment of N2.4 trillion as reparation to the five states that make up the zone as well as Delta State for the killing of Igbos during the civil war.

The people of the zone, known as Ndigbo, also demanded a state apology for the alleged wrongs the state visited on them.

The five states are Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Abia State, all of which it said should be paid N400 billion each.

The zone also said the same amount should be paid to Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state.

It also asked the Federal Government to invest in the massive re-planning of Igbo cities with proper structures such as provision of urban water works, a sort of Marshall Plan often devised for war-ravaged area.

The demands are contained in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The letter signed by Mbazulike Amechi and Raph Obioha, chairman and secretary of Reparation Committee of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, was attached to a document distributed to the delegates of the National Conference.

The 28-page document is titled “Ohanaeze Ndigbo: Atrocities and Injustices Against Ndigbo.”

“It is incalculable to put a price on the death of millions of Igbos who were killed in the civil war and on other occasions,” it said.

“The Federal Government should pay N400 billion each to the five states of the South East as compensation to those who lost loved ones, lost properties, and those still suffering dislocation today in Nigeria.

“The same amount should also be paid to the government of Delta State for the benefit of Anioma area of the state.”

The Committee said the Igbo had suffered gross injustice which culminated in an imposed civil war lasting 30 months.

It stated that in the course of the horrendous war, millions of Igbo were not only killed, they suffered grave injuries while property were damaged, asset and property seized and families dislocated.

The Committee explained that the Igbo never conspired nor planned any military mutiny against the state of Nigeria in 1966.

It said the action of the Nigerian army could not and should not be visited on a people on the scale perpetrated on the Igbos in Nigeria in what it described as a state calculated exercise of annihilation, pogrom and planned tribal cleansing of the magnitude of extermination on the pretext of resolving the “Igbo question.”

“The principal function of state,” the committee argued, is to “guarantee the security and safety of its citizens. It is heinous when rather than protect, the state turns its weapons on its defenceless citizens; wages war against them; deliberately imposes policies that marginalized them; refuses to atone for the injuries caused and pretends that all is well.”

It noted that the litany of what the Igbos had suffered in Nigeria should be presented if and when the Nigerian government sets up a body to work out the reparation to settle the civil war issue.

Stating that life had no duplicate, the committee said an unjust loss of life especially when caused by the state was a crime against humanity.

The committee said it was only an act of miracle that the Igbo are still standing considering what has been visited on them since the creation of the Nigerian State.

”Starting from 1945, Igbos have been killed with the connivance of state authorities to appease misguided angers of local people especially on religious grounds,” it said.

“Let us consider than an Indian writer, Rushdie, wrote the blasphemous book against Islam, Igbos living in northern cities of Nigeria were butchered in thousands for something they knew absolutely nothing about.

“The targeting of Igbos for the slightest provocation which the Igbos have absolutely nothing to do with has become so common place and hardly has the government made any resolution to assuage the damages.”

The committee told the president that having played a role in the resolution of the crisis arising from the activities of militants in the Niger Delta, providence had placed him to resolve the Igbo issue.

It added, “Your Excellency may question why now. The Igbos feel confident as a people that you are a man of conscience, a man of equity and above all, a leader who insists that justice must prevail at all times.

“Providence has placed you at the position to resolve this issue once and for all, after all you were pivotal in the peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta militancy. The jackboot approach at Odi and Zaki Ibiam was totally condemned by the civilized world.”

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