Published On: Tue, Oct 10th, 2017

Withdraw soldiers from the South, address unresolved national questions, ILT charges Buhari

By OBINNA EZUGWU

Rising from its plenary meeting in Enugu on Monday, Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) condemned in its entirety, the

•President Buhari

deployment of soldiers in the South East zone in the name of Operation Python Dance 11 and the resultant humiliation and loss of lives, particularly in Abia State. It, therefore, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to withdraw soldiers from the zone and other zones in the Southern parts of the country.

The leaders who took this position in a press statement signed by its chairman, Prof Ben Nwabueze and issued at the end of the meeting, insisted that the agitations going on in different parts of Nigeria was as a result of unresolved national question, and charged the president to act in that respect.

“The ILT would like to remind all Nigerians that the greater problem facing Nigeria as a nation is the unresolved national question,” the statement read.

“ILT condemns the invasion of the South East by the military through the so-called Operation Python Dance II and the humiliation, and attendant killings by the army. The ILT calls for immediate withdrawal of this Python Dance and Operation Crocodile Smile.”

The group said it was committed to the Ibadan declaration on true federalism, just as it commended the summit of Southern and Middle Belt leaders which met in Abuja recently for rejecting the labelling of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation.

“ILT stands with the Ibadan declaration of 7th September and insists on the power of the federal government being reduced far below what they were under the 1963 constitution.

“ILT notes and warmly commends the communique by the South South, South East, South West and the Middle Belt coalition of their Abuja meeting on Thursday 5th October.

“The ILT demands on early convocation of a constituent assembly that would draft a new constitution anchored on true federalism and regional autonomy affirmed through a referendum.

“ILT condemns the proscription of IPOB as a terrorist organization became it is not there under the extant national and international laws.”

It called for a thorough investigation into the allegation raised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu.

“The ILT calls for a thorough investigation into the allegation by the Minister of State Petroleum against the GMD of NNPC for insubordination and by-passing the board of NNPC

“Finally, the ILT would like to reiterate for emphasis, the support for the widespread clamour in the country for restructuring.”

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