Leaders in the South East and the secessionist group, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), on Friday canvassed for the zoning of the presidency to the region in 2023.
They made the call at the end of their meeting held at the Enugu State government house.
The meeting had in attendance governors of the region led by the chairperson of the South East governors forum and governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi.
National Assembly members, clergy, monarchs, women leaders and other leaders from the zone, also attended the meeting.
In a communique at the end of the meeting, they stated that: “we demand that South East be given the opportunity to be the president of Nigeria in 2023.”
The communique was signed by Ugwoke Ibem Ugwoke, national secretary of MASSOB and Uchenna Madu, leader of MASSOB.
They also called for the disarming of killer herdsmen, who have occupied forests and farmlands in the region destroying farmlands, kidnapping, killing and raping women.
They however pledged to continue to live and work peacefully with peaceful herdsmen who have been living peacefully in the region for decades.
The meeting also called for the creation of one additional state in the South East to be at par with other regions in the country.
They also asked that the South East governors be allowed to determine locations where roadblocks are necessary in the South East, especially in emergency situations.
According to them, this will help to address the complaints of the people about roadblocks and extortion in the South East.
The leaders also alleged that there is serious discrimination and marginalisation of civil servants from the region in the federal civil service.
“The lgbo youths and MASSOB, note with sadness that Southeast is being discriminated against in the allocation of federal infrastructure projects.
“We note specifically that all the major federal roads in lgbo land are in terrible state of disrepair. We, therefore, demand that the federal government should immediately approve a substantial intervention fund to complete all these major road projects in the South East,” they said.
They further demanded that substantial allocations be made for major infrastructura; projects in the 2021 budget currently before the National Assembly.
“We want the Federal Government to look into this”, they said.
The meeting also agreed that each state must set up a youth rehabilitation and empowerment fund to address youth unemployment in the South East.
They also agreed that a monitoring committee be set up in each state, made up of youths, clergy, traditional rulers, governors representatives and women to monitor compensation and empowerment funds in the South East to be set up by governors and federal government.
The meeting also resolved that the president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo should lead youth representatives and select leaders from the region to the presidency to make their demands to President Muhammadu Buhari.
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