Pull from Punch online
A coalition of socio-political groups in the South East has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to start fulfilling promises he made to the Igbos or risk losing their support in the forthcoming presidential election.
The groups, who made the demand after meeting in Enugu, said the President has not shown adequate appreciation for the massive votes he received in the South East in 2011.
The associations that formed the coalition are Igbo Traders Congress, Igbo Women Assembly, Umuada Ala Igbo, Igbo Students Association, Igbo Youth Movement, South East Self Determination Coalition and Eastern Christian Council.
The National President of the Igbo Women Assembly and a member of Igbo Leaders of Thought, Mrs Maria Okwor, noted that Igbos are not happy with the way they are being treated by the Federal Government.
According to him, Igbos have not been rewarded for the votes given to Jonathan in 2011.
Igbos expected a lot from the President but he is yet to meet the high expectations, she said.
Okwor said, “We are not happy that we are being taken for granted and we will like him to make concrete promises to us and start something, not just promises.
“Right now, we are considering so many options because we want people who will recognise our existence and who will solve our problems, we are not recognised.”
The women leader urged Jonathan to start redeeming outstanding promises he made to the Igbos, before the forthcoming elections.
“The East/West rail line they promised to build for us, will it happen?
“When will it happen – can it be started before this tenure ends so that we have something to hope for?
“Otherwise, we might have some alternatives because there are other parties that can help us achieve our objectives,” she said.
She also expressed reservations about the state of infrastructure in South East, noting with regrets that the Enugu-Onitsha expressway is still not motorable.
Okwor also frowned at what she described as the way Jonathan has been reaching out to Igbos through businessmen like Arthur Eze and Ifeanyi Uba, “whereas Igbos have credible leaders like Professor Ben Nwabueze, former vice president, Alex Ekwueme and others.”
She insisted that unless the President tells “genuine Igbo leaders” like Nwabueze and Ekwueme his blueprint for the Igbos, he cannot be guaranteed of their support during the elections.