South East govs wade into IPOB/Army row

The South East Governors Forum (SEGF) has stepped into the row between the Nigerian Army and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Governors of the region expressed worry over reports of alleged invasion and sporadic shooting near the Umuahia residence of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The invasion  reportedly left many injured.

The governors regretted that the alleged invasion of Kanu’s home came amid efforts to broker peace between the federal government and IPOB.

SEGF’s Director of Information, Chief Mike Udah, told Daily Sun  governors in the region will broker amicable resolution to the row.

“South East governors are worried that the relationship between the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the federal government is degenerating into this kind of ugly situation. They did not want this kind of situation to occur and that was why they invited IPOB leader, Kanu, and Prof. Ben Nwabueze, to their meeting in Enugu, recently. So, they are working to ensure that such situation does not reoccur.

“South East governors do not want a situation where the region would be seen as working against the federal government.

“They don’t want a situation where there would be a breakdown of law and order. They don’t want a situation where it will appear that there is a strained relationship between the people in the region and the federal government.

“South East governors want peace and amicable resolution of whatever is the problem between the two parties. They will continue to do their best to ensure that the situation does not worsen.

“They will continue to meet with other pro-Biafra and Igbo groups, with a view to ensuring that there is peace in the land. South East governors are worried that the ugly situation which took place in Abia State could occur” he added.

In a related development, South East Elders Forum has warned against the ugly consequences of turning the zone to a war theatre.

The warning came against the backdrop of the alleged weekend shooting of dome IPOB members in Umuahia.

In a statement signed by the forum’s Convener, Dr Dozie Ikedife, the elders noted that a military exercise is normal but added that because of the tension in the country, they would not want it to be like an army of occupation, in any shape or form.

“We advise the civilian population to be calm, go about their normal businesses peacefully and lawfully. The army should ensure that their exercise inflict minimum interference on civilian traffic, on the roads, lanes, by-ways and water -ways. To the best of our knowledge, there is no war in the South East geological zone,” the elders noted.

They said a statement announcing the proposed military exercise between September 15  and October 14, 2017 seemed to suggest a “cordon off and search. If that is so, it makes one wonder whether the term “exercise” is not a mere camouflage for something else.

“Let the military and the civilians in the South East be very careful to ensure that the charged atmosphere does not explode,” the elders rounded off.

Also, six different groups in the region have condemned the attack and, in different statements, warned that they would not accept occupation of Igboland by soldiers in a civilian rule.

Students under the aegis of Igbo Students Union (ISU), have decided to enlist in IPOB and its security outfit, the Biafra Security Service (BSS) for the purpose of securing the region from any attack.

In a statement signed by President of Igbo Students Union, Chimezie Ubami, said “for attacking Kanu, every Igbo student will now mobilise and resist them. Kanu is our leader and we will protect him.”

Igbo Traders Association (ITA), in a statement by its Chairman, Chief Chris Obikwelu described the attack as “shocking and despicable,” and assured that they would “mobilise to provide adequate security for Kanu.”

To the Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT) and Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), in a own joint statement signed by Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko said the army is “only making Kanu more loved and more deified.

source: Daily Sun

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