South East governors, members of the Natiinal Assembly from the South East and traditional rulers from the region on Sunday declared support for a united Nigeria in Enugu.
The South-East stakeholders’ meeting, which held at Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, commenced on Saturday night and ended in the early hours of Sunday.
A communique issued at the meeting, read by the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, stated that the Igbo leaders were not in support of secession.
The Igbo leaders urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the restructuring of the country.
Part of the communique read, “Ndigbo are in full support of a united Nigeria, where peace, love, fairness, justice, equity and equality of opportunities are paramount, regardless of creed, ethnicity, gender or political affiliation.
“We condemn all hate speeches and misconduct from any segment of the country.
“Igbo leaders lend their full support to the restructuring of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of fairness and equity.
“We therefore call on the Federal Government and all Nigerian leaders to commence a process of dialogue among Nigerians on the modalities of achieving this pressing question within a reasonable time frame.
“Ndigbo supports the report of the National Conference of 2014 and we urge the Federal Government to set up structures that will enable the implementation of the same within a reasonable time.”
They also stated that a body will be constituted to speak on behalf of the Igbo.
“The South-East governors, members of the National Assembly, leadership from the South-East and the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo shall henceforth constitute the official organs that shall speak on behalf of the Ndigbo.
“South-East leaders, in consultation with other parts of the country, will set up a committee to engage the Federal Government on all issues that concern Ndigbo,” the communique added.
The governors of the five South-East states were in attendance as well as all the National Assembly members from the zone, led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and the Chairman of South-East Caucus of the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by the President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, was also at the meeting.
Religious and traditional leaders at the meeting include the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Prof. Godfrey Onah; the Enugu Archbishop of the Anglican Communion, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma; and Chairman, South-East Traditional Rulers Council/Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe.
Others at the meeting are a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo; a former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu; National Chairman, United Progressive Party, Chief Chekwas Okorie; a former power minister, Prof. Barth Nnaji; a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.), and a former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih.