On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari said it is “unthinkable” that any Igbo person would call for a separate country.
The president stated that Igbo people are important in Nigeria and that they run successful enterprises in many parts of the country.
He also asserted that the region’s inhabitants are in command of the country’s economy.
During his one-day official visit to Owerri, the capital of Imo State, he addressed in a town hall meeting with South-East leaders.
With less than two years left in his eight-year presidency, the president said in a statement that security remains a top concern for his administration.
Acknowledging the resourcefulness and enterprising spirit of the Igbo people, the President said, “The fundamental thing about the Igbo people is that there is no town you will visit in Nigeria without seeing the Igbos being in charge of either infrastructure or pharmaceutical industry.
“Therefore, it is unthinkable for me that any Igbo man would consider himself not to be a part of Nigeria.
“The evidence is there for everyone to see that Igbos are in charge of Nigeria’s economy.”
His remark comes amid ongoing unrest in the region by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who want an independent Biafran country.
Buhari went on to say that no country can achieve significant progress without the development of infrastructure, and he expressed sadness that successive federal governments contributed to the deterioration of the country’s key infrastructure.
He pledged that the Federal Government would finish critical projects in the South East, such as the 2nd Niger Bridge and railway lines and highways connecting the region to the rest of the country.
“I firmly believe that when you get infrastructure right, Nigerians will mind their own businesses,” he said, adding that as a group, the Igbos stand to benefit more from the ongoing development of infrastructure in the country because “they are more enterprising.”
Buhari had previously commissioned four projects, including the Naze/Ihiagwa/Nekede/Obinze link road, the Balloon Driven/Flood Control drainage at Dick Tiger Road, the Egbeada Bypass road, and the New Exco-Chambers, Government House, Owerri, which were all completed by Governor Hope Uzodinma.