They insisted that Ndigbo were more interested in restructuring of the country than occupying the position of presidency.
South-East APC chieftains have repeatedly told people of the zone to support President Muhammadu Buhari for a second tenure in 2019 and then take a shot at the presidency in 2023.
However, in a communique after its meeting in Snug, the ECA described APC leaders as sycophants who were chasing shadows.
In attendance at the meeting were traditional rulers, religious leaders, Students’ Unions, Traders Associations, Women’s Groups, Niger Delta Youth Movement, Town Unions, Youth Organizations, among others.
The assembly deliberated on the state of the Nation, and issued a strong-worded communique, which was signed by Chief Mrs. Maria Okwor and Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, the chairman and the secretary of the ECA, respectively.
It read: “Future Elections in Eastern Nigeria, to be anchored on the restructuring of Nigeria. Only office seekers totally committed to an early political restructuring of Nigeria would be voted for, henceforth. The era of stomach infrastructure is over. Any politician, who is against the restructuring of Nigeria, has no place in Eastern Nigeria.
“The childish and very annoying narrative, being bandied about by President Buhari’s manfriday, to wit: that an Igbo President in 2023 is the magic wand to all our miseries, is quite idiotic and unintelligent.
“Refusing to address the core issues responsible for the general loss of confidence and loss of faith ruling the land, which is, the current unworkable unitary structure and digressing to apportion years for ethnic domination of Nigeria is irritating and a confirmation that Nigeria is truly heading for collapse. Nupe president in 2031, Urhobo President in 2039, Birom President in 2047, Igbo President in 2023 etc. is all bunkum and provocative distraction. We must face reality today, and agree consensually on a truly Federal structure, that will unite the country. It should not matter where a President comes from, if true federalism is practiced.
“The quite unnecessary paranoia exhibited by the FG in hiring and sponsoring demonstrators to intimidate Amnesty International is frightening. The future of democracy is clearly threatened in any country where the government is both afraid and intolerant of the truth. The extra-judicial killings of unarmed citizens are documented in video for all to see. Struggling to intimidate Amnesty International is crude, sickening and despicable.
“Clearly avoidable internal crisis within the ruling APC is worrisome and quite disturbing. E.g. Saraki/Melaye versus Ibrahim Magu, DSS DG Lawal Daura versus Ibrahim Magu, senate versus customs CG, etc. That the ruling party is overheating the polity unnecessarily, speaks volumes about the quality of leadership Nigerians are made to suffer at this time. Pity!
“The time has finally come for the electorate of Eastern Nigeria, a region that has suffered so much humiliation in contemporary Nigeria, to wake up and take a stand for the future of our progeny. Accordingly, political hustlers and pseudo leaders, who have mindlessly exploited and abused our trust and good nature, must be retired forthwith. We must develop parameters, standards and values for leadership. In other to raise the bar in the quality of leadership which we think is ideal. We must begin to endorse, encourage and celebrate only leaders who are willing to make sacrifices by placing the interest of the masses above self interest. The time to start is now.
“We are surprised at the refusal of the FG to understand and appreciate the truth that restructuring Nigeria is inevitable. FG must also accept the reality that the FG unwittingly made Nnamdi Kanu both a symbol of the struggle and hero of the people. Only an early release of Kanu and constructive dialogue with the people can heal the land now.
“And finally, the quite unreasonable and unhelpful delay in reconstructing Nigeria into true fiscal federalism, built on regional autonomy, is the only problem holding Nigeria down today. There is no other way out. Delay is dangerous.”
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