FG abandoned Igboland since 1970 – Simon Okeke


Successive federal govern­ments have deliberately abandoned Igboland since after the civil war in 1970, leading to the present restiveness among Igbo youths and the agita­tion for the state of Biafra.

Former Chairman of the Po­lice Service Commission (PSC), Chief Simon Okeke, said this in his quarterly state of the nation press briefing at his Akatar resi­dence in Nnewi South Local Gov­ernment Area of Anambra State, The Authority reports.

His words: “The IPOB, MAS­SOB and others like that who are reacting are doing so because their region has not been in the reckoning in the political equation and calculations.

“These young boys and girls have good reasons to react. There is absolutely absence of federal presence in the entire Igboland. To make matter worse, none of their brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts is in the kitchen cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. They are simply reacting to in­justice.”

Okeke further explained that the accumulated years of neglect and abandonment were responsi­ble for the reaction of Igbo youths in recent times, including the agi­tation for revalidation of the state of Biafra.

However, he cautioned that the agitation against injustice and accumulated neglect should not lead to a clamour for anoth­er country, adding that what Ig­bos urgently need is a macrocosm called Nigeria and not a micro­cosm called Biafra.

He noted that although the South-East was reintegrated back into the country, nothing was done to rehabilitate and recon­struct the region, adding: “Igbos are very exuberant and their en­terprise is second to none, which has made them to be scattered all over the face of the earth and un­doubtedly doing very well.

“What we should be talk­ing about is ensuring that what should have been done since 1970 is done. We should have in place South East Development Com­mission (SEDC), to reconstruct what was destroyed during the war. But nothing was done to re­construct the zone that was the seat of the war, not minding the fact that General Yakubu Gowon promised reintegration, recon­struction and rehabilitation.”

While challenging South-East governors to unite in the quest for the uplifting, development and re­construction of Igboland, he said that there should be about three dominant projects done by the Federal Government and jointly owned by the South-East to create employment for youths, in petro­leum industries, major refineries and petrochemicals, because the entire South-East is a bed of oil and gas.

He said: “Another thing one should say about IPOB/MASSOB is that the reason these youths are agitating is that they did not know what happened during the war. Many of the youths are post-Bia­fran war children, so they did not know what happened.

“I hold the Federal Govern­ment responsible for removing history from the school curricu­lum. It ought to be taught from the elementary to secondary; students can then go to universities and spe­cialise.”

The former boss of the PSC also threw his weight behind the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, debunking the insinuation that the war was selective. He said that corruption is the bane of the country.

Recalling with pride how he resisted attempts by a former In­spector General of Police to get him corrupted, the former chair­man of the PSC called on Presi­dent Buhari to pursue his war against corruption with double zeal and vigour, pointing out that he is very happy about the way the President is prosecuting the war against graft.

He said: “If President Buha­ri does nothing more than fight corruption, unmask corruption, recover stolen money, he must have done a lot, because most of his predecessors were not coura­geous enough to tackle corrup­tion. We will expect and urge him to go through other parastatals and ministries when he is through with the investigation of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

“He should look into the fi­nancial records of the National Assembly, the constituency pro­jects’ funds, ecological funds and other special funds. The Inde­pendent National Electoral Com­mission (INEC) should also be in­vestigated.

“I also want to disagree with those who are claiming that the war against corruption is selec­tive; the war must start from the known to the unknown and every­one must account for their actions and inactions. The military offic­ers, serving and retired, arrested, are they members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)?”

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