On November 1, 2023, the prominent Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has issued a set of five demands to President Bola Tinubu, urging him to address the concerns of the Igbo community.
Ohanaeze emphasized that an overwhelming majority of the Igbo population, estimated at 99%, firmly supports the Southeast Charter of Demands and urges President Tinubu to give it immediate attention.
The Southeast Charter of Demands, which Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been advocating for since June 2023, encompasses critical issues that require prompt resolution to improve the well-being of the Igbo people.
In a statement signed by Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, President Tinubu is implored to heed the voices of the majority of Igbos and take swift action to address the Southeast Charter of Demands. Isiguzoro warned that neglecting these demands would exacerbate the discontent and grievances within the Igbo population.
The five key demands outlined by Ohanaeze Ndigbo are as follows:
- Creation of Aba State: Ohanaeze Ndigbo has long advocated for the establishment of a new state in the Southeast. The choice of Aba State is well-considered and enjoys significant support among the Igbo population.
- Immediate Release of Nnamdi Kanu: Ohanaeze Ndigbo insists on President Tinubu’s intervention for the swift release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, before December. This gesture of clemency is seen as essential to restore peace and harmony in the volatile Southeast, allowing the Igbo people to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays without fear.
- Massive Developmental Projects: Ohanaeze Ndigbo demands the implementation of transformative projects, including the construction of a Deep Sea Port in Azumiri Blue River in Ukwa East Local Government Area, Abia State, and the establishment of standard gauge railway lines connecting strategic locations within the Southeast. These initiatives are expected to stimulate economic growth and alleviate the hardships resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies.
- Reconstruction of Federal Roads with Cement Technology: The deplorable condition of federal roads in the Southeast is a pressing concern. Ohanaeze Ndigbo calls for the reconstruction of these roads using modern cement technology to ensure durability and enhance connectivity for the people.
- Inclusion of Anambra, Enugu, Kogi States in Oil Derivation Allocations: Ohanaeze Ndigbo emphasizes the immediate inclusion of Anambra, Enugu, and Kogi states, as recognized by the Buhari administration, in the 13% oil derivation monthly allocations. This inclusion is seen as a matter of justice and equitable resource distribution.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo contends that the individuals advocating for increased appointments in the Federal Executive Council are using an outdated elitist strategy to exploit the Igbo community, a practice that has persisted since 1999. The organization vehemently opposes this exploitative approach and stands against those who seek to undermine the interests of the Igbo nation.