The Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), on Tuesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the growing tension and insecurity in the country.
They, however, called on President Buhari to address the nation amidst the growing tension in parts of the country, to calm frayed nerves.
The group also reiterated the urgent need to ensure the application of the Federal Character Principle in appointments into sensitive positions.
National Coordinator of CSEPNND, Prof. Chika Madumere in a statement warned against the danger of treating any ethnic nation as second-class citizens, as a consequence of such may be too grave to contemplate in the long run.
Prof. Madumere said the framers of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), did not include the Federal Character principles as a decorative item, but rather a mandatory requirement for the sustainability of the nation’s unity and corporate existence.
He maintained that at all material times, the President and other leaders occupying positions of responsibility must ensure that the tripod upon which Nigeria stands – Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo – is reflected in appointments into public offices, to ease tension in the polity.
The South East professionals recalled that sometime in July 2015, when President Buhari assembled his team of Service Chiefs, upon assumption of office on May 29 of the same year, no officer of Igbo extraction was considered worthy of inclusion.
The coalition further placed on record that other appointments made by the President into the leadership’s of security, intelligence as well as para-military agencies, were devoid of any consideration for the South East.
The professionals said they were compelled to issue this statement after the January 26 appointment of new Service Chiefs, which like others, had no senior officer from the South East.
They further noted that no multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation, survives what they described as bare-faced alienation and marginalization of Ndigbo for too long.
They appealed for the immediate review of the appointment of military heads, to reflect geopolitical balancing.
The group urged Ndigbo not to lose faith in the sanctity of the Nigerian project.
“We want to begin by introducing ourselves as a group of very responsible South East professionals with the primary objective of ensuring the inviolability and indissolubility of Nigeria.
“As a South-East group with membership from within and outside the country, we have the ultimate mandate to rise in defence of the Igbo nation, in times of need, as doing otherwise will amount to dereliction of moral duty,” the statement said.
The professionals alleged that never has the interest of the South-East geo-political zone been so blinking in the national equation, then under the current administration of President Buhari.
The statement added, “During the oath-taking ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari had vowed to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by implementing its provisions faithfully and conscientiously.
“As a group of educated and informed Nigerians, we are aware that the Federal Character Principle
is a fundamental aspect of our national life, especially owing to its proportionate representative nature in appointments into public offices.
“A community reading and understanding of this critical requirement of the Constitution, coupled with the oath to uphold the same, would have suggested that governance will be executed on the twin-pillars of equity and justice – the fulcrum of modern society”.
The statement concluded that it was in recognition of the egalitarian nature of modern society, to which Nigeria proudly belongs, that it humbly appeal for an urgent review of the recent assembly of military heads, to incorporate the interest of the South East