A coalition of Igbo groups, the Eastern Consultative Assembly, on Thursday, said Igbos should be allowed to secede in peace, if Nigeria was not restructured ‘immediately’.
The coalition, comprising professional bodies, youth, student and Christian organisations, town unions, traders and women groups, among others, made the demand in a communique issued after a meeting in Enugu.
The meeting was prompted by the three-month ultimatum given to Igbos to leave the North.
In the communique signed by the Deputy Leader, Chief Mrs Maria Okwor, and the Publicity Secretary, Rev. Fr. John Odey, the Eastern Consultative Assembly insisted that Nigeria ‘must restructure or perish’.
Blaming the ‘quit notice’ issued to Igbos in the North by some Northern groups on the country’s current unitary structure, the ECA noted that it was not enough for the Federal Government and various sections of the country to condemn the development.
According to them, restructuring was the only proper response to the ‘quit ultimatum’.
Parts of the communique read, “ECA assures the Northern leaders who reprimanded and disowned the ‘quit notice givers’ that everybody knows that the emotions that inspired the quit order is so deep seated, and stagnation as a result of the faulty, unitary structure is so fundamental, that the platitude from right thinking Northern folks, who called for peace and calm without addressing the real truth, cannot and will not solve the problem.
“Calling for calm and unity without addressing the truth is unhelpful and deceitful.
“What is the real truth? Ninety five per cent of the oppressed do not want to continue the 1970 experiment of master/servant relationship.
“Restructure Nigeria now or let us go.”