As issues of marginalisation and secession continue to threaten Nigeria’s unity, the “Role of Ndigbo in a United Nigeria’’ will be the focus of a discourse to be convened by the Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) soon.
The publisher of Daily Times, Mr Fidelis Anosike, said on Wednesday in Lagos that the issues threaten the integrity of the country, especially as it concerned the perceived marginalisation of the South-East geopolitical zone.
The discourse, according to a statement by the Group General Manager of DTN, Mr Olisa Egbunike, the company was falling back on its historical pedigree to partner with Katunga Media to organise the parley.
Anosike said the issues had resulted in the call by some fringe elements for secession by the region and the creation of an independent state needed to be carefully discussed.
He noted that there was also the need to hold such discussion within the context of the strong role that Igbo people play in Nigeria and would continue to play as all stakeholders strive toward building a virile Nigeria.
Anosike said that DTN was emboldened to organise it by its belief in the many positives that come with a united and indivisible Nigeria where all concomitant groups were given a level playing field to develop.
He added that such would ensure that citizens received a better quality of life and credible infrastructure development.
“The recent meeting between President Muhamadu Buhari and leaders from the South-East, including the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohaneze, and the South-East state governors, has thrown up a basic rapprochement.
“It has cleared the way for further dialogue with a view to better understanding of the issues and proffering practical and immediate execution initiatives thereby muting the continuous cry of marginalisation of the region,’’ the statement said.
It noted that Mr. Joseph Edgar of Katunga Media would bring together intellectuals, technocrats, socio-cultural influencers, deep thinkers and the traditional instructors to discuss the issues.
The statement added that the discussion would be based on facts and data, while at the same time eschewing myths and deceit in establishing the need for the continuous involvement of the Ndigbo people in the Nigerian project.
The one day conference, scheduled for the second week of January 2018 at the International Conference Centre Abuja, is expected to feature speakers from a wide spectrum of the society, including the highest level of government.
The participants, it noted, would be entertained by a selection of Igbo cultural groups combined with a display of Igbo cultural artefacts telling the story of Ndigbo in Nigeria.