(Opinion) South East Development Commission: Fostering National Cohesion Post-Civil War by Dr Cosmos Ndukwe

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Southeast Development Commission: Fostering national cohesion post-civil war
By Dr Cosmos Ndukwe

The Southeast Development Commission (SEDC) Bill, sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, will be a gift from the president to Ndi Igbo when signed into law.

The Deputy Speaker, having watched the body language of the president, proposed the bill.

With the efforts of the Southeastern parliamentarians, he pushed it through both chambers. It is now awaiting the assent of Mr. President.

While pleading for a quick assent, we have the belief that this bill stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment towards healing the wounds inflicted by the Civil War and fostering cohesion among its diverse populace.

Emerging from the shadows of a tumultuous past, this commission embodies the resilience of the Nigerian spirit and offers a beacon of hope for a brighter, more united future.

This bill failed in the eighth and ninth National Assembly sessions. Now, many thanks to the President, the JAGABAN of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who has a special love for Igbos and who has shown visible body language towards healing the scars of the civil war in Igbo land, the bill will soon become law.

Now that the scars of the Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, are healing fast, this Commission will surely help to strengthen reconciliation.

Decades of conflict, economic disparity, and political marginalisation that left the Southeast region grappling with underdevelopment and disillusionment will be permanently healed.

The establishment of SEDC marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s journey towards genuine reconciliation and progress.

One of the most significant aspects of SEDC is its mandate to address the socio-economic challenges facing the Southeast region.

Through strategic investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship, the commission aims to uplift communities, empower individuals, and bridge the gap between the Southeast and other regions of Nigeria.

By prioritising inclusive development, SEDC is laying the groundwork for a more equitable and prosperous future for all Nigerians.

Moreover, SEDC will play a crucial role in promoting national unity and cohesion.

By acknowledging the unique needs and aspirations of the Southeast region, the Commission sends a powerful message of inclusivity and solidarity.

It recognises that true unity cannot be achieved through neglect or marginalisation but requires proactive efforts to address historical grievances and build trust among all segments of society.

Furthermore, SEDC serves as a platform for dialogue and reconciliation. Through its programmes and initiatives, the Commission fosters constructive engagement between the government, local communities, and stakeholders.

By creating avenues for participation and collaboration, SEDC promotes understanding, respect, and mutual recognition among Nigerians from different backgrounds.

However, the success of SEDC hinges on effective governance, transparency, and accountability.

The Commission must operate with integrity and efficiency, ensuring that resources are allocated judiciously and projects are implemented effectively.

By upholding principles of good governance, SEDC can earn the trust and confidence of the people it serves, thereby maximising its impact and relevance.

In conclusion, the President’s body language in showing respect and love for Igbos, and the National Assembly passage of the Southeast Development Commission represents a significant step towards national cohesion and reconciliation after the Civil War.

By addressing the socio-economic needs of the Southeast region and fostering inclusive development, the Commission is laying the groundwork for a more united and prosperous Nigeria.

However, its success ultimately depends on the commitment of all stakeholders to work together in the spirit of unity, understanding, and mutual respect.

Igbos acknowledge the love of Mr. President, the collective effort of the National Assembly members, the push by Rt. Hon. Kalu and his perseverance to push SEDC through both houses.

This bill, once signed into law, will fulfil its mandate and contribute to a brighter future for all Nigerians.

* *Rt. Hon Ndukwe Ph.D (ManofGod), is the Abajiulo Item and 2023 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant.*

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