Igboville/ Oganiru Ndi Igbo Foundation (ONF), a pan-Igbo socio-political group, under the auspices of Igboville has issued a statement rejecting the purported endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. The statement described the endorsement as precipitous and ill-advised, stating that Chief Arthur Eze does not speak the collective mind of the Igbos, describing him and ‘his faceless gang’ as a political jobber seeking favour from the government. It was jointly signed by its leaders, including Emeka Maduewesi (Leader), Uche Onuh Lucas (President General), former presidential candidate, Maxi Okwu, Okey Igbokwe, Victor Aguku (Legal Adviser) and Onyema Uche.
It decried the gross underdevelopment of the region, which was one of the reasons Igbos came out en-masse to vote Jonathan into power, expressing its displeasure that all the political promises made by the Jonathan-led administration has failed to do anything to alleviate the suffering of the Igbos. The statement however, called on the president to fulfill the promises he made to Igbos, as only his can convince Ndi Igbo that he has their welfare at heart, and consider endorsing him come 2015. The statement read in parts:
“It is no secret that President Jonathan promised to build second Niger Bridge within his first tenure as well as convert Enugu Airport to an International national hub. He also promised that South East roads will receive urgently needed attention within this current tenure.
As at today, none of these promises have been fulfilled. The second Niger Bridge is still in the “drawing board” and no international flight has yet landed or taken off from Enugu Airport. South East roads remain the worst in the country, including the Enugu-Onitsha Federal highway that Chief Arthur Eze travels to Onitsha from Ukpor, his home town. Enugu-Port Harcourt highway is at best a death trap while Aba-Ikot Ekpene highway is virtually non-existent as a road.
Even in the sharing of national resources, Ndigbo are yet to get any favours from this administration. No single refinery out of the six promised by President Jonathan is located in the South East even though three South East states, Abia, Imo and now Anambra are oil producing states. Revenue allocation is heavily skewed against Igbo states with one state receiving more monthly allocation than all 5 SE states. Even desert states that contribute next to nothing to the national revenue pool are getting more than two times the monthly allocation of oil producing Igbo states. Nobody is even discussing the promised 6th state for Ndigbo, to put to SE at par with other regions that have 6 states.
Our sons and daughters in this regime have not fared better. As recently as last week, one of the best performing Ministers in this administration, who is also of Igbo origin, was forced to resign his appointment because of intrigues and in fighting within the regime. As a reformist who is expected to naturally attract opposition from vested interests in the perennially corrupt power sector in Nigeria, we expected the President to have protected him. That the President attested to the the man not having done anything wrong makes it all the more unbearable that he was forced out because of ill defined conflict of interest. Other ministers of Igbo origin are not fairing better within this government.
It is therefore important to unequivocally state that while Ndigbo are not at war with President Jonathan, there is absolutely no reason, at this time, to endorse him or any other politician for 2015 election. Moreso when we are also interested in producing the best President of Nigeria in 2015.
We are committed to working with Mr President to achieve his electoral promises, especially as relates to Ndigbo. If by 2015 we review his performance and determine that he has done well enough to deserve second term, we will join authentic Igbo leaders to make our position known.