CLAIMS OF MARGINALIZATION AND UNFAVOURABLE GOVERNMENT POLICES AND THE AGITATION FOR SECESSION BY THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF BIAFRA (IPOB)
- True Federalism
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The Igbo of Southeastern Nigeria has a history of agitation for separation from Nigeria. The Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970 was an effort and a consequence of the agitation. The war ended and Nigeria remained one country. However, the desire for separateness seems to have remained an everyday reality among the Igbos ever since. The agitation was rekindled by IPOB when Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015 on the bases of unfavourable policies of the government and inequitable distribution of the country’s resources as well as lopsided appointments of public officials. This study sought to interrogate the validity of the course of IPOB. The study was built around the relative deprivation/Frustration-Aggression theory of Ted Robert Gurr. Relying on both documentary material and data obtained through a field survey and analyzed statistically, the study concludes that the overwhelming majority of Igbos may never be satisfied with the Nigerian project whatever the reforms that may attend government policies in response to the agitation of IPOB. Hinging on findings and conclusion, among others; the paper recommended that the Nigerian government cum Federal Character Commission should take necessary steps to curtail the perception of marginalization by ensuring that the principles of equity, Federal Character and quota system are always considered in revenue allocation, recruitments, appointments, infrastructures etc. among the diverse nations that make up the state. In essence, this enable the marginalized Igbos change their orientation and believe about the political system since their interest will equally be protected. More so, there should be a sincere dialogue between the representatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the stakeholders in the South-East region, with the motive of identifying the underlying reasons for the resurgence of agitation in the area, and consequently, making sincere efforts to address such grievances. Just like the national conference of 2014, the federal government should be more intentional on implementing these resolutions.