Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State and Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, on Monday said that leaders of the geopolitical zone were opposed to secessionist agitations in the part of the country.
Governor Umahi stated that they (leaders) were ready to know the grievances of the youths in the zone. Umahi noted that President Muhammadu Buhari and his ministers might not be aware of all cases of marginalisation or exclusion of Igbo people in the country.
He, however, said governors in the South-East would first meet with the youths in the zone on Saturday to itemise their grievances, some of which would be taken to the Federal Government and the Presidency.
The governor made this known on Monday while featuring on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television.
Umahi was asked if the governors’ forum discussed the agitations for secession and call for a national dialogue and restructuring at a security meeting held recently.
The governor said, “A section of South-East youths is saying that there is marginalisation, maltreatment of the people of the South-East and they want a country of theirs. Our position as leaders is to say, ‘who did you discuss that with? And that we are better in a united and fair Nigeria. “So, we do not accept their position in terms of secession. But we can as leaders listen to them and that is what we are going to do on the 19th of this month.”
When asked to state categorically if he felt that the South-East was not marginalised, Umahi said, “It is not a straight-worded thing. There are issues which I explained to the wonderful honourable Minister of Defence.
He added, “My position is that there are certain things that happen in this country that even Mr President, even the ministers will not be aware of. When somebody from the South-East is due for promotion or a particular appointment is not appointed, how will Mr President know about it?”