A convocation of the peoples of the South East, South West, South-South and Middle Belt groups has demanded a declaration of both Myitte Allah and Fulani herdsmen and terrorist groups.
The people also stated that a minority part of Nigeria, the North West and North East, cannot hold the rest of the regions with over 99 million population to ransom by refusing to agree on restructuring Nigeria.
They particularly accused President Mohammadu Buhari of spearheading the anti-restructuring posture and warned that if the country is not restructured before the 2019 general elections, Nigeria may be heading towards disintegration.
The peoples convocation meet in Enugu, Thursday, under the platform of Handshake Across the Niger; a Celebration of Igbo/Yoruba Friendship Beyond Brotherhood, organised by a pan Igbo group, Nzuko Umunna. However, Pro-Biafra members made up of mostly elderly women countered against the demand for restructuring, saying that they want outright, separatist country, having been tired of Nigeria’s wobblings and injustices.
Their voices rented the venue, overshadowing the speaking President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo. Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah had hectic time calming the agitators but announced that the pro-Biafra members would be given time to express their anger against last year Operation Python Dance.
Leader of Yoruba group and representative of Chairman of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo the meeting was a catalyst for unity of Nigeria which the ‘enemies of Nigeria’ do not want to take place. He noted that it was not a gang up meeting or a forum for formation of a political party, but a meeting against common oppressors of the progressive Nigerians.
Adebanjo said: “It’s only restructuring that can guarantee your rights in Nigeria. Cheating, injustice and even corruption can only be wiped out through restructuring. “President Buhari will not do that, instead he has ensured that all military and paramilitary institutions are under his control and he has refused to to name herdsmen as terrorists yet he pounced on IPOB that seeks for justice.”
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo said that the Fulani herdsmen are daring the Nigeria unity, adding that it was unfortunate the federal government has refused to declare the herdsmen as terrorist group. A minute silence was observed for the victims of Benue killing by suspected herdsmen.
Hundreds of women demonstrated at the venue meeting between southern leaders and those of the Middle Belt, saying that they wanted outright dismembering of Nigeria instead of restructuring.
The women who came from Imo and Abia States shouted that they are opposed to restructuring because of the killing of hundreds of their children by the military during the Operation Python Dance late last year.
One of the women who identified herself as Blessing Ngozi Ohakwe regretted that soldiers killed innocent members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, agitating against oppression in the country, while Fulani herdsmen who had been killing Nigerians across the country were being pampered by the Federal Government.
“We are not in support of restructuring. We want outright dismemberment of Nigeria. she said. However, speaking shortly after the women were calmed down, the Leader of the Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, told the women that the brutal killing of Nigerians for the wrong reasons would only stop if Nigeria was restructured.
Uwakwe Ukuta Azikiwe, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi described the gathering as a celebration of friendship among the people of South- South, South West, Middle Belt and the South East. Ugwuanyi said that restructuring would enable the regions to unleash their potentials for the growth and development of country.
TheÂ #HandshakeAcrossTheNiger event is meant âto reconstruct the narratives of our (co)existence and to open a new vista of relationship between the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groupsâ. pic.twitter.com/sULVsSyod4— ADDICTED (@ahilaka) January 11, 2018
What a better way to end today's event. Legendary musician, Onyeka Onwenu, entertains the gathering with her evergreen song "One love, Keep us together" which further affirms the true essence of #HandShakeAcrossTheNiger pic.twitter.com/GHdJC6v8cJ— #BecauseWeCare (@Iroko2019) January 11, 2018