Rather than continue with agitations for secession, leaders from the south-eastern part of Nigeria have demanded that their people must decide to develop the region.
The leaders, who include governors, restated that they are committed to the unity of the country, but that there must be a resolve by Igbo people to bring development down to the region.
They lamented how indigenes of the zone which makes up the third largest ethnic group in the country would continue to develop other regions without replicating such in their native land so as to create employment.
There had been agitations across the region for Biafra, but some leaders have kicked against the struggle maintaining that what the country needs is restructuring.
The meeting was convened by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an Igbo socio-cultural group but hosted by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.
Some of the leaders who attended the meeting, according to The Nation, include former chief of general staff in the General Ibrahim Babangida, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Abia state Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Okorocha, Enugu state deputy governor, Cicilia Ezeilo, former governors of old Anambra state, Jim Nwobodo and Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Imo state deputy governor, Eze Madumere, industrialist Pascal Dozie, and former chief of naval staff, Rear Admiral Alison Madueke (retired).
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According to the leaders, Igbo people have all it takes to make the region great.
President-General Gary Enwo Igariwe, said at the meeting: “We should come together and solve our problems. We are known for our resilience and industry. Thirty per cent of investments in Lagos and Abuja is owned by Ndigbo but now we are calling on our people to think home and build another Abuja in Igbo land.
“We should invest at home to create jobs for our people. So, today is a special day because we have decided as a people to close ranks and proffer solutions to our problems.”
The guest speaker at the event, Professor Anya O Anya, said Igbo people needed re-orientation.
“The solutions to our problems can only be found within and not outside. We are the only ones that can solve our own problems.
“We are preparing to rebuild Igbo land to meet with the Nigeria of the 21st Century.
“We have gathered because the time is critical so that we can chart a new course for our people.
“There has never been a time we are faced with a barrage of problems like now so we need our past to find solutions to our problems,” he said.
In his contribution, Commodore Ukiwe said: “We should forget about the past; there is nothing to regret about and we cannot be intimidated by anyone.”