Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, has asked Igbo leaders to seek methods to work with the Federal Government to solve their legitimate issues.
In his speech at the opening of the Peace in the South East Project, a brainchild of Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, the congressman bemoaned that despite the zone’s economic strength, agitations in the zone had caused it numerous losses.
Speaking on Friday at an event in Bende, Abia State, Abbas claimed that peace in the South-East was necessarily linked to the peace and growth of Nigeria as a whole.
The initiative was described as a “historic and patriotic endeavor” by Abbas, who said, “Between 1956 and 1965, the then Eastern region was regarded as the fastest-growing economy in Africa and Asia. Indeed, Nigeria’s and Sub-Saharan Africa’s Southeast has remained an economic powerhouse, leading in trade and commerce.
“From Aba to Adamawa and Enugu to Europe, Igbo are known to be entrepreneurial, resourceful, peace-loving, savvy, tenacious, and peace-loving. That is the character of the Igbo. That is who you are. Three of your cities, Aba, Onitsha, and Nnewi, are among the most industrialized in Nigeria.
“A sizeable chunk of the major investments in many parts of Nigeria are Igbo-owned. Your contributions to the Nigerian economy, either through imports, business investments, or Diaspora remittances, among others, are indisputable.
“The contributions of the Igbo are apparent not only with regard to the economy but also in all fields of human endeavor, including literature, academia, the creative industry, and many more.”
Despite its natural endowment, the Speaker said that the South-East’s issues have frequently emerged as separatist agitations, turmoil, and terrorism, saying that “the consequences on both lives and property have been colossal.”
The speaker stated that in order to properly solve these issues, stakeholders must first understand their core causes.