Igbo behind major investments in Nigeria, says Speaker
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, has urged Igbo leaders to seek ways of interfacing with the Federal Government to address their legitimate grievances.
The lawmaker, in his address at the launch of the Peace in the South East Project, a brain child of the Deputy Speaker. Benjamin Kalu, lamented that despite South-East’s economic strengths, agitations in the zone had caused it many losses.
Speaking on Friday at the event held in Bende, Abia State, Abbas stated that the peace in the South-East was invariably, the peace and progress of the entire Nigeria.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Musa Krishi, on Friday, Abbas noted that the PISE-P was borne out of his deputy’s deep love for the zone and profound concern over the rise of insecurity, “which has cast a dark shadow over the region.”
He lamented that the wave of insecurity “continues to cripple daily life and significantly paralyse socio-economic endeavours, in a region whose people are renowned for their resourcefulness and economic enterprise.”
Describing the project as “historic and patriotic endeavour” the statement quoted Abbas as saying, “Between 1956 and 1965, the then Eastern region was regarded as the fastest-growing economy in Africa and Asia. Indeed, the South-East has remained an economic powerhouse in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, 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 industrialised 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 endeavour, including literature, academia, the creative industry and many more.”
Despite its natural endowment, the Speaker added that the challenges facing the South-East have often manifested in the form of separatist agitations, unrest, and terrorism, noting that “The consequences on both lives and property have been colossal.”
To address these issues effectively, the Speaker said the stakeholders must first understand their root causes.