Stop threats against Ndigbo – Southeast leaders to other regions..
Southeast leaders, on Saturday, expressed concern over threats against Ndigbo living in other parts of the country.
They made their feelings known during an enlarged meeting between the Southeast Governors’ Forum, Federal and State lawmakers, ministers, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Dailypost reports that the meeting is a follow up to the consultation the Presidential delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, rtd Maj.Gen. Bashir Magashi, had with leaders in the zone, on June 11, following rising insecurity in the region.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, said the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to one nation built on fairness, love and respect for one another.
He, however, said the zone was saddened by threats against Ndigbo, calling on leaders of other regions in the country to rise to the occasion.
“We have noted threats by some groups in some other regions against our people of South East. While we firmly promise to protect every one either from our own region or other regions living in our place, we call on leaders in other regions to take of note the threats and take proper action,” he said.
The communiqué disclosed that the meeting consequently “set up committees under Ohaneze Ndigbo to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the Presidential team”.
It added that South-East leaders condemned the killing of security agents, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South East and in other regions, and requested the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law.
The South-East leaders also condemned in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in the zone and elsewhere, proclaiming firmly that “we do not support them, they do not speak for South-East”.
On the impression that South East leaders are silent over agitations for secession by some youths of the region, they stated that “is not correct”, stressing that “South East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leader had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations”.
The communiqué revealed that South East leaders, in order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, “have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears”.
On the safety of the Igbo indigenes in other parts of the country and the newly established regional security outfit, etc, the communiqué added that the “meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure that the nation, Nigeria, and their people of their safety in South East.
“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the South East and our visitors.
“We request our National Assembly from the South East to support State Police creation in the on-going constitutional amendment.”
The Committees set up, according to the communiqué, are “Agitation; engagement with other regions; those of our people in the North, South East, South-South and South West; IPOB, MASSOB, Youths and Market people, Okada and Keke; Diaspora; Advocacy; and Diplomatic engagement with Foreign Missions”.
Those present at the meeting include the host Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Deputy Governors of Anambra and Imo states, Dr. Nkem Okeke and Prof. Placid Njoku respectively, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogah, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Amb. George Obiozor, former President of the Senate, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and former Military Administrator of old Anambra State, Rear Admiral Allison Madueke.
Also in attendance were the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi; Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu; Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel O. Chukwuma, Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, immediate past President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, among others.