A socio-political group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), has criticized antagonists of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State over comment on the state of affairs in the southeast region.
DAILY POST recalls that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom had called on the Federal Government to respect the Federal Character Principle to end marginalisation and injustice in form of appointments and developmental projects.
Ortom who spoke in Enugu while delivering a keynote address titled: “Emerging Security Situation in the South East: The Place of Good Governance,” at the one-day lecture series organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Enugu Chapel, posited that insecurity in the region and other parts of Nigeria can only be addressed when leaders set aside sentiments and confront the monster.
The Benue Governor’s position has been greeted with criticisms on social and print media from the oppositions.
But, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), in a statement jointly signed by its President General, Goodluck Egwu Ibem and the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Okey Nworu and issued to journalists in Umuahia, on Saturday, said Governor Ortom’s position resonated with the yearnings and aspiration of the people of the southeast of Igbo extraction.
The group insisted that southeast remained neglected with federal infrastructural decays littered in every part of the region, and lopsided federal appointment in defiance of the principle of federal character.
COSEYL urged the antagonists of Benue Governor to leave the latter out of their politics of stomach infrastructure as Ndigbo deserves infrastructure, appointments and representation in Nigeria as presently constituted.
According to the statement, COSEYL affirms the position Governor Ortom, stressing that nothing new was said and should only be amplified so that a national conversation is birthed and capable of addressing problems in the nation.
According to the statement, “Ortom is being accused of using the Southeast to advance his cause. We wish to let the persons behind that article of shame understand that Ortom has, for long, remained a voice in the wilderness. He has been vocal in matters affecting his state (Benue) and outside of the state.
“What exactly did Ortom say in his keynote address in Enugu that undermined the position of the governors of the region? Is it the call for infrastructure in the region? Insecurity? Neglect in federal appointments against the federal character principles? All these are plagues the region has suffered and so deserve to be entertained by every Nigerian.
We wish to affirm that the position of Ortom resonates and sits well with the yearnings and aspirations of the good people of the Southeast and Ndigbo. To this end, we believe that: Governor Ortom, in holding such opinion did not in any way, undermine the position of the five governors of the region. Governor Ortom is in exercise of his civic duties to voice his opinion which is in the interest of not only Ndigbo or the region but the nation in the light of the current insecurity challenges.
Anybody who holds a contrary view should examine themselves whether they are acting in the overall interest of Ndigbo or are playing ‘the enemy within.
As a youth coalition that wants peace, both regional and national, we affirm that, if on the basis of federal character principle, appointments are equally distributed among all groups in Nigeria, our insecurity wouldn’t be as alarming as it is now.”