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Ohanaeze condemns Integrated National Master Plan, says it is a plan to enslave Ndigbo

By The Citizen
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Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Saturday, kicked against the National Planning Commission (NPC) document on integrated master plan for the country, saying it was well orchestrated to keep Ndigbo hostage for the next 30 years.

Ohanaeze, which set up a committee headed by the President General of the organisation, Chief Gary Igariwey, to study and forward her discontent to the commission latest first week of next month, also queried the methodology adopted by the consultants to assemble the data contained in the document.

Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, had, during the validation workshop for southeast on the draft Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) in Enugu on Thursday, said it was aimed at getting more inputs from stakeholders, adding that its benefits would include economic growth, prioritised projects and programmes, as well as efficient allocation of resources for investors.

He said the document was a master plan for the development of the country for the next 30 years (2013 -2043)

But addressing newsmen in Enugu, at the end of her National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, yesterday, Secretary General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu, said that the organisation was not satisfied with the provisions in the document, as it would deliberately keep the southeast zone hostage for the next 30 years.

He said, 'The methodology the consultants used to assemble data, the quality of data used are predicated on the number of states and local governments and projecting to over 30 years, which means they have already built in injustices. It is this restructuring of the federation which is skewed against us that Ohanaeze has been handling. They based their plan, first of all, on a dubious census figure, biased allocation of local government areas, biased allocation of states, and these are all the injustices Ohanaeze has been complaining about when we talk about Igbo marginalisation, and to use these same factors as yard stick for distribution of resources is injustice.

'We are also querying the degree of input of Ndigbo into the plan. The plan cannot be hoisted on us. Planning is for people and therefore the people's views must come into play. They cannot tell us what our needs are; we shall tell them what our needs are. We think that the research methodology, data used are suspect and they need to be revisited.'

Nworgu said that the meeting set up various committees including Strategy and planning to be led by Admiral Allison Madueke (rtd); Outreach Committee to be led by Senator Hope Uzodinma; Reparation Committee to be led by Dara Mbazurike Amaechi; and Presidential Advisory Committee with former presidents general of the organisation as members.

Those included in the committee were former Vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Commodore Ebitu Ukwe, Archbishop Anthony Obinna, Eze Njemanze and Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, among others. He added that Chief Chris Asoluka would chair the Ndigbo Consultative retreat, while the Igbo Day has been fixed for September 29, this year.

Ohanaeze also condoled with the family of late Colonel Adekunle Fajiyi, former western regional governor on the death of his wife, and said that it would participate actively in her burial.