NORTHERN socio-cultural group the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has told those Igbos winging about being the southeast geo-political zone being marginalised to desist from such propaganda as it is not true.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari has assumed office on 2015, the southeast in particular has complained bitterly about being marginalised when it comes to federal appointments. This perception, along with the activities of armed Fulani cattle herdsmen, who go around unleashing terror on rural farming communities has fuelled calls for secession and the creation of a breakaway Biafran republic across the southeast.
Biafra existed briefly between July 1967 and January 1970 during the Nigerian civil war when the Igbos sought to create their own independent nation state. Of late, calls for the recreation of Biafra have become strident and have led to the phenomenal growth of secessionist groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra.
However, dismissing such marginalisation claims Yerima Shettima, the AYCF president said he wondered how the southeast was marginalised when it has produced a former secretary to the government of the federation and a former senate president. He pointed out that people of the southeast should hold their governors, senators and leaders responsible for the shortfall of infrastructure in their region.
Mr Shettima added: “When they say they are being marginalised, I don’t understand how and where they are being marginalised. They say it’s because they are not allowed to come into governance, can you stay behind and seek power? Is power something that you can just threaten people, then get it?
“And if they are talking about being marginalized, what happens to the north central zone that has gotten nothing since 1999 till date. If there is any region that has been marginalised, then it’s the north central zone and they have not agitated or killed anybody, or held the country to ransom.
“So what marginalization are they talking about, there is nothing like marginalisation. Don’t they have the number of senators required? Don’t they have ministers and governors? So, why are they channelling their anger to the centre and not to their leaders? What are the governors doing with all the funding they are getting?”