Service Chiefs: Igbo Nation Has Suffered So Much In Nigeria – S’West Elders

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A coalition of Yoruba leaders says the Igbo nation deserves better than it is currently getting from the Nigerian federation.

The Conference of Concerned Yoruba Elders (CCYE) stated this in a Tuesday statement signed by its National Coordinator, Prof. Olusegun Ajibola and National Secretary, Dr Catherine Adisa.

The Yoruba elders said they were worried that having sidelined the South-East in the selection of service chiefs in 2015, the current administration repeated the same in 2021.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (Delta State – South South); Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff (Kaduna State – North West); Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (Kano State – North West); and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff (Osun State – South West).

The statement read in part, “We have carefully followed the reaction and counter-reactions that is trailing the appointments of the new service chiefs and concerns raised by Nigerians over the exclusion of Igbo from South East, and as critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, we wish to add our voice to this growing concerns.

“Firstly, we thank God and President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing our son, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao as Chief of the Air Staff. This is the second time that the president is considering our region worthy enough for appointment into the nation’s security management. We are indeed grateful to him for this gesture.

“We can categorically say that it is an appointment that Mr President will not regret because of the professional and moral competence of the officer.

“We, however, stand totally with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and several other Nigerians who are of the view that justice was not done to South East in the composition of the service chiefs and should be urgently and fairly reviewed in the interest of justice and equity.”

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The Yoruba elders noted, “The Igbo nation has suffered so much in this nation and if God must be kind to us, we need to address the so many injustices done to them.

“Obviously, from the mood of the country after the long-awaited sack of service chiefs, the low or poor excitement in the country is a clear indication that people were not happy with the composition of the appointment.

“We wish to say here in very clear terms that we have nothing personal against the new service chiefs because they are all competent in their various capacities. However, we wish to say also that there are also competent and qualified Igbos in the various arms of the Nigerian Military.”

Reiterating its call for the review of the appointments, the group commended President Buhari for strides recorded in infrastructural development in the South-East.

“We must commend Mr President on the many infrastructural developments in the South East in particular and the country as a whole.

“We humbly appeal to him to prove his critics wrong that he does not have anything against the Igbos and write his name in gold by reviewing the appointments of service chiefs to reflect true federal character with an Igbo military officer in the team.

“We say this because this is the second time the president is appointing service chiefs in his government without an Igbo officer found worthy to be appointed. To us, and so many Nigerians alike, this is not fair.

“While we call on Nigerians to speak for the South East, we appeal to Mr President to review this appointment in the interest of justice that he and his party stand for,” the Yoruba elders stated.

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