Secession of South East is not the immediate agenda of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu; but restructuring of the country based on equity and justice within Nigerian commonwealth.
He has urged his kinsmen, Ndigbo, not to allow themselves to be provoked into any armed struggle.
He advised restive youths to continue to sustain peaceful agitation for equity and justice.
Ekweremadu explained that the Igbo people want the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to enable them enjoy equity and actualise their potentials
Ekweremadu spoke at the World Igbo Congress (WIC) summit in Enugu on Saturday ahead of May 30 declared by pro-secession groups for a shut down of the region.
“The minimum Ndigbo demand of Nigeria is a restructuring of the federation so that every component part of it can substantially harness its resources, cut its coat according to its cloth, and develop at its own speed.
“Instructively, the ill-fated Aburi Accord was about restructuring, even if it is not exactly as we want it today.
“But it was breached and discarded, plunging the nation into an avoidable fratricidal war. Yet, 50 years after, the need and call for restructuring and return to a true federal state have only persisted.
“Although the call initially fell on deaf ears, it is heartwarming that the right quarters are beginning to listen and the call is gathering traction daily, even from hitherto improbable quarters, “ he said.
He commended Ndigbo for eschewing violence in their struggle for a better deal within the Nigerian commonwealth.
“No matter the intimidation, harassment, and marginalisation of our people, we must never be provoked into an armed struggle. It is an ill wind that blows no one any good.
“But we must consistently continue to say a loud, ‘No!, until we get to the promised land of an equitable and just society. Let no man be tired and let no woman give up. The night may be long, but the day will surely break”, he said.
He urged the Federal Government to seek and sustain peace in all parts of the country through equity, justice, and fairness as “a man that is unjustly treated will never be interested in peace”.
“The rights of Ndigbo to peaceful and democratic engagements must be respected. Those who try to muffle and subdue democratic engagements by citizens are only playing into the hands of anarchists.
“Importantly, the marginalisation meted out to Ndigbo in appointments, especially in the commanding heights of the security sector is unacceptable; and must be redressed”.