South-East governors have absolved the Indigenous People of Biafra of blame over security challenges in the zone, saying cultists, robbers and kidnappers among other criminals are merely using the organisation’s name to foment trouble.
They also said they will soon meet with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), as part of efforts aimed at finding political solutions to the face-off between the Federal Government and the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
The Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, stated these in a press statement issued on Thursday, a copy of which was made available to The PUNCH.
Umahi added that governors and leaders of the zone would no longer fold their hands and watch the region decimated by criminals.
He said, “We are aware of the various illegal orders of sit-at-home by different groups of state agitators for our people of South East to sit at home every Monday and from November 5 to November 10, 2021.
“Whereas, we have identified some of the spokespersons of some of these groups and we have been engaging them to stop all forms of violence and illegalities in South-East and allow South-East leaders to address all issues raised by them, we are however working with security agencies, our local security and our leaders to protect the lives of our people and to address all issues raised.
“We thank Ohanaeze Ndigbo for a good job they did through their various committees in raising various solutions towards addressing all issues raised by our young children.
“South-East governors are studying their reports with the elders and leaders of the various South-East states and very soon, we will be meeting with Federal Government of Nigeria on these issues, including deploying political solutions in the case of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu which we have already initiated.
“We thank our religious leaders, Conference of Bishops and Archbishops of South-East, the traditional institutions of South-East and Christian Association of Nigeria of South-East for their interventions and mediations on this matter. We will work with them to achieve the desired result for our people and Nigeria.”
Umahi pleaded with all security agencies deployed for the Anambra State governorship election to secure the lives the people while playing their roles within the rules of their engagements.
He added, “We are aware that the insecurity in South-East has gone beyond IPOB. Cultists, armed robbers and kidnappers have recruited themselves and are using the name of IPOB to be killing innocent citizens. We will not allow this to continue.
“We thank Federal Government of Nigeria and Independent National Electoral Commission for their determination to hold Anambra election on November 6, 2021.
“We will give them every support and shall help them to ensure a free, fair and violence-free election. We therefore ask our people to go out and vote for candidates of their choice as we have been assured of adequate security measures to secure their lives and properties.”
The governors assured the people that the intervention they are spearheading would lead to the release of the IPOB leader.