George Obiozor, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, says since the end of the civil war in 1970, south-easterners have been alienated.
Obiozor said this during a Facebook live broadcast conversation series on ‘Solving Nigeria’s Security Conundrum: A Pan Nigerian Approach,’ organised by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), on Wednesday.
The leader of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo also said causes of insecurity in the south-east, and Nigeria at large, can be attributed to serious neglect on the part of the country’s leadership.
“What the Igbos want is equality as given and guaranteed for all citizens of Nigeria. In other words, a feeling of alienation is a form of insecurity by itself, and since the end of the war, the attitude, the way Igbos have been treated, has shown incremental level of denial of rights,” he said.
“Insecurity in Nigeria can be attributed to serious neglect. Small issues in Nigeria are left until they become a national disaster. In order to actually solve the security challenges, two particular features of governance are imperative in any country, and not just Nigeria.
“One is a structure upon which a nation is situated. If it is strong, it can control or contain the level of insecurity, which develops because of the dynamics in a plural society like Nigeria.
“Another is strong leadership — governance that is fair and free and based on equity and sense of fairness — and with the loyalty of the people, can also lower the tempo of insecurity.”