Chief Donatus Nwankpa, the Chairman, All Progressives Congress in Abia State, has advised pro-Biafra agitators to shelve their secession plan and negotiate to produce an Igbo president in the country.
Nwankpa gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia, Abia State on Sunday.
The APC chieftain stated that the agitation for a Biafra Republic is not a viable option for the South East zone of the country.
Nwankpa said: “For the Biafran agitators, I think Ndigbo need two things: One is that they should try and produce a president of Nigeria.
“They should try and work hard to see that a president comes from the Southeast.’’
Nwankpa said a president of Igbo extraction would make the ‘no victor, no vanquished’ declaration at the end of the 30-month Nigerian civil war more realistic.
He, therefore, urged prominent Igbo politicians to mobilise their resources and contacts to negotiate for an Igbo president.
Nwankpa further said Ndigbo needed to ensure massive infrastructure and economic development of the zone.
He said: “An Igbo man is hardworking, industrious and creative.
“He does not need government empowerment, which to me, only makes people lazy.
“The Igbo man needs good roads, regular power supply and a conducive economic climate to drive his enterprise to the peak.”
Nwankpa, a one-time state legislator, also spoke on the growing agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria along regional lines.
He said: “The agitation for restructuring has to do with the problem of discomfort and suspicion of one another in the country.”
He said Nigerians needed to understand and coexist peacefully rather than to tolerate one another.
The APC chieftain further said there was nothing wrong with the present structure of the country and its constitution.
He said: “The Nigerian constitution is one of the best drafted constitutions in the world.”
Nwankpa blamed the underdevelopment of some sections of the country on the excesses and self-aggrandisement of some of the past and present governors.
He alleged that the governors wielded so much power but failed to channel such power toward the development of the country.
Nwankpa described the three-month ultimatum issued to Ndigbo by some Arewa youths as “a wake-up call on Ndigbo to come home and invest and develop their area”.