Amid the tense and heated political atmosphere in Nigeria at the moment, due to the forth coming 2019 general elections, the Eastern Region Assembly (ERA) has invited the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to a national discourse on restructuring in London, United Kingdom.
This was made known in a statement signed by its National President, Ejike Ikezuagu on Wednesday and sent to CHECKPOINTCHARLEY.
No date was given for the parley but the invitation followed the group’s “highly powered meeting held last Monday in Stratford, London.”
The statement said Mr. Ikezuagu alongside the Secretary, ERA UK Headquarters, M/s Nkechi Anene were in the US two weeks ago for a meeting with the group’s members and stakeholders on the issues concerning “Atiku/Obi restructuring agenda” and other economic matters with regard to the interest of the region and Nigerians in general.
ERA is a socio-political organisation representing the people of the Old Eastern Region as a political bloc to champion the interest of the region. It is a group with global chapters which its headquarters is in the United Kingdom and national office is in Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria.
According to Mr. Ikezuagu, after the group’s due consultations with various stakeholders, groups and friends across the region and globe, they have come to conclusion that there is need for the people of old Eastern region to have a vibrant political movement that will play a role equivalent to that of Arewa Consecutive Forum and Odua Youths.
The group takes cognisance of Ohanaeze Youth Council, which has been playing a good role as well as speaking wonderfully in the interest of the region, however, they are not regarded as a political bloc nor a political movement representing the people of the East, he said.
“Also, Ijaw Youths Council and other related ethnic groups in the eastern region are organisations representing their ethnic interests, thereby leaving the collective interest of the entire eastern region at bay without having a political movement to liaise with political parties in order to protect their interest as a region.
“ERA wants to ensure that the entire groups in the eastern region have one voice in all national issues,” Ikezuagu added.
In the days to come, ERA promised to take a decision regarding the forth coming election as it affects the entire region and the campaigns of all the political parties after proper consultations.
However, it expressed regret over the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that has “paid deaf ears to the clamour for restructuring.”
The group’s national president said, “the region and Nigeria at large have taken note of the fact that the present administration under President Buhari rejected all pleas by Nigerians to restructure the country. The administration insisted that the problem of Nigeria is the “process” and not the “structure”.
“However, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar agreed that the problem of Nigeria is the “structure” and had accepted to restructure the country if elected, so we may consider him if and only if…
“On the other hand, IPOB has expressed reservation on the issue of “restructuring” and submitted that there is urgent need for “referendum” for the people to decide their fate. Well, they may make an amendment, perhaps, after Atiku/Obi has come to state categorically how the design for the restructuring of the country will look like”.
He stated that ERA believes that these are healthy national issues that need a national discourse.
He concluded, “ERA will soon take its own position in all these matters, considering various interests after inviting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the ERA World Press Conference in London to expatiate the word “restructuring” and what he means for a clearer understanding to all the Nigerians. And we will urge all the groups in the eastern region to take and uphold the position.”