Igbo Leaders of Thought, a body of eminent Igbo personalities, has warned that the plan to probe the immediate past federal government should not be a ploy to humiliate political opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari, including former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group, led by constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze, also urged Buhari to immediately restructure Nigeria without delay.
In a statement titled “Only truth and justice endures,” which was signed by its deputy secretary, Evangelist Elliot Uko, the group said the impending probe must be devoid of “witch-hunting and smear agenda.”
It stressed that the probe would be reduced to a jamboree if it becomes an avenue to humiliate political opponents.
Using the probe to humiliate political opponents of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government would cause problems for the country, the Igbo Leaders of Thought warned.
“Desirable as the probe and prosecution of corrupt officials of the outgone regime is, we must endeavour to avoid witch-hunting and smear agenda.
“Only the probe and prosecution of factual, traceable and clearly identifiable cases of abuse of office and misuse of public funds will inspire confidence and receive commendation of the citizenry and the international community.
“Humiliating and deliberately degrading political opponents in the guise of probe and prosecution of corrupt officials will only reduce the whole exercise to a jamboree, that could lead to a lot of a acrimony and bad blood which we believe, is the last thing Nigeria needs at the moment,” the group said in the statement.
The Igbo Leaders of Thought also insisted on the restructuring of the country into federating units.
The proposed restructuring of the country was canvassed by several groups, including the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, during the 2014 national constitutional conference.
Insisting on restructuring, the Igbo Leaders of Thought argued that it would amount to living in denial to pretend that the current federal structure was sustainable.
The group noted that fighting corruption and insurgency alone would not be enough to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the country’s future.
Arguing that the current federal structure, which was established by the military, was the bane of contemporary Nigeria, the Igbo Leaders of Thought described the proposed restructuring of the country as urgent.
It said, “We believe that Nigerians from all persuasions, political divide, zone or status all agreed that the unity, security, stability of Nigeria should be the priority of all concerned at this juncture of our national growth.
“Sincerity of purpose, commitment to what is best for the country and for the good of all should guide actions and steps of our new leaders.
“While views and opinions may differ on solutions to the myriad of problems confronting us as a people, truth is usually located somewhere near the court of justice, equity and fair play.
“Continuing to pretend that the present political structure is sustainable is clearly to live in denial of reality.”