The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSELY) on Friday has threatened to organize a one-million march peaceful protest in each of the South-East states over humiliation and harassment on Igbo leaders by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC).
The Igbo group decries what it called the incessant distraining and seizure of properties belonging to leaders of the zone, warn that Ndigbo cannot be silenced.
COSELY also alleged that Igbo leaders are being victimized in other to deny the zone 2023 Igbo presidency.
In a statement signed and made available to journalists by COSELY President General, Hon. Goodluck Ibem, and Comrade Kanice Igwe Secretary General, recounted how EFCC had in the past went after southeast leaders, while their counterparts in other zones of the country were left untouched.
Reads full statement; “The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), the umbrella body of all the youths organizations in the Southeast zone is alarmed by the recent distraining and sealing of buildings and properties in Abia state by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.”
“It is only a prerogative of a court of competent jurisdiction as by law empowered to seal a property or keep the public off buildings and properties in public and state’s interest if it is proven beyond every reasonable doubt that such properties are acquired through unlawful means. Contrarily, there is, to COSEYL’s knowledge, no warrant from a court of the land as to why the buildings should be distrained.
“It is very shocking and sad that out of the six geopolitical zones in the country, only South-East political leaders are being targeted for prosecution. Political leaders who served at the same time with their South-East counterparts are moving about freely without any harassment, arrest or sealing of properties in their states and regions.
It smacks of political blackmail that South-East leaders alone are paraded or tagged by the current administration as corrupt in recent time.
“Recently, the federal government took a foreign loan of $22.7 billion for infrastructural development as we were told. Out of such whooping sum of money, no project or Kobo was budgeted for South-East even when some states in the zone are oil producing states that produce part of the revenue through which the government will service and even amortize the said loan.
Without mincing words, it appears that only intimidation, pain and harassment are directed to the South-East zone while democracy dividends are directed to other zones.
The group further alleged that, during the lockdown attendant to the coronavirus pandemic, palliatives and cash transfer meant for all zones were shared to only the northern states leaving the South-East to their own fate.
“We know the reason for such victimization is not far from and unconnected to the 2023 presidential race. Since the zone declared its interest for the office of the president, those who feel they parade political potentates and potential presidential materials and who think they can anoint and sponsor their own for the plum job have been plotting various schemes to edge out the region resulting sometimes in, harassment, investigation, detention and illegitimate conviction from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
“This time, they have directed their searchlight in Abia State again by distraining and seal off properties in the capital city of Abia in other to spite the region. Have Ndigbo been marked and earmarked, selectively, for such attacks because of 2023?
“Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Theodore Ahamefula Orji did excellently well when the held sway as governors. Abians appreciated their selfless service to them which the reciprocated by voting them each for second tenure. Those of us who were in Abia saw what they did with the lean resources at their disposal during their tenures.
Engr. Enyinnaya Nwafor, the son of a former deputy governor of Abia state and currently the Chief Executive Officer of Tunnel End, and Rock Waters Integrated Services LTD has also been taking to cleaners by some unseen forces using the anti-graft agency, EFCC. Could his offence be that he is an Igbo man who should not, by any legitimate means under the right circumstances, prosper in his endeavors?
“We demand that EFCC should allow our leaders to concentrate on their duties at the National Assembly or at any other pace.
Certain of these politicians from the region or Igbo extraction are people who have made their marks in other endeavours before stepping into the political turf with a view to rendering accountable service from their own. Nigeria belong to Nigerians of any faith, creed, region and party affiliation. Since every other region has presided over the affairs of this great nation, the South-East should, in all fairness, have a feel of leadership.
Each state of the South-East will organise a one-million man peaceful protest on the same day in defense of our leaders who have been targeted for humiliation and harassment. The grand finale of the protest will be in Abuja. Date of the peaceful protest will be communicated to all. Ndigbo cannot be silenced.