President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo

The apex socio-cultural group for Ndigbo, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has made a strong case for the adoption of a six-year rotational single tenure for the president and governors of 36 states in the country.

It also demanded creation of one additional state in the South-East geo-political zone, scrapping of local government system and resource control for states where natural resources were exploited

These were some highlights of the resolutions tagged, “Ekwueme Square Declaration 2018’’, which members of Ohaneze Ndigbo reached during their one-day summit in Awka on Monday.

Prof. Charles Soludo, the Chairman, Planning and Strategy Committee and Organising Committee, read out the resolutions.

Soludo further said Ohaneze want the Federal Government to adopt the report of the 2014 National Conference.

He said that the resolution already ratified by all the component arms of Ohaneze, equally demand that the current Constitution of Nigeria, which he stated was the product of the military, be redrafted.

Soludo added that Ohaneze recommended that a constituent assembly for the drafting of a new constitution be constituted and thereafter a referendum be held, adding, “whatever recommendations of the group would be sent to National Assembly’’.

He said that group also demanded for the scrapping of state of origin and its replacement with residential rights whereby a Nigerian would have full right in any place he or she resides for 10 years.

On the six years single tenure, the group noted that six vice presidents from each of the six geo-political zones should be elected, while the governorship seat would be rotated among the senatorial districts.

On his part, Chief John Nwodo, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, said the summit was organised to enable Ndigbo articulate major challenges affecting the country.

Nwodo claimed that the present constitution of the country was skewed against Igbo people and should be redrafted to give Igbo peoplevfair treatment.

The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, challenged the Ohaneze leadership to convince those yet to support the restructuring of the country to back the idea.

Ekweremadu assured that he would table any bill on the restructuring of the country whenever the Ohaneze present it at the national assembly.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Sen. Ike Nwachukwu, who also spoke called on the people of middle Belt to support the call for restructuring of Nigeria, saying that they stand to gain more.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the chairman of the summit, called on Igbo people especially the leaders to exhibit honesty in their affairs, to help move the people forward.

Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, in his address, thanked the organisers for choosing his state for the summit organised for the Igbo people to articulate what they want as Nigerians.

Earlier in a sermon, Ven. Ben Osisioma of the Anglican Communion, called on Ndigbo to rely on God for solution to their challenges in Nigeria.

The summit was attended by prominent Igbo leaders from Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Rivers and Delta.

Prominent leaders from the South and North, such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Prof. Jerry Gana, Commodore Dan Suleiman and others attended the event.

Security was beefed up around the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, Anambra State, venue of the summit on restructuring.

Heavily armed personnel of the Army, Navy, Police and NSCDC were strategically positioned on the adjoining roads to the venue.

Officials of the FRSC were also around Aromma Junction and the Alex Ekwueme Square, to ensure free flow of traffic.

Police anti-bomb units were also stationed in and around the venue, among other proactive measures taken.

Recall that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB) had threatened to cause security breach at the event, warning guests to stay away in their own interest.

Traffic was redirected from the area as workers at the Federal and State High Courts, State House of Assembly and Universal Basic Education Board were searched before passing the venue to their offices.

A civil servant, who gave her name as Alice, said she was surprised at the level of security presence in the area.

Alice said workers in the state were not previously intimated on the heavy security presence, but said the development was in the interest of the public.

“I was searched before I was allowed to use the Ekwueme Square route that leads to my office; I was shocked initially but they explained the reasons to me,” she said.

Musa Amad, a commercial motorcyclist, said they were forced to take longer routes as the normal roads to these offices were condoned off.

He decried the drop in patronage by the residents as most commuters trekked to their different destinations.

SP Haruna Mohammed, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Anambra State, had warned IPOB members to steer clear the venue or have themselves to blame. Mohammed said adequate security would be provided for all law-abiding citizens.

“I am sounding this as a note of warning to any group that plans to make trouble during the summit. We are ready for them and will not tolerate any violence.

“Our men are ready for them and we are urging members of the public to go about their duties diligently,” he said