IPOB, other groups don’t speak for South East – Leaders

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi

South-East leaders, Governors, political, religious, and traditional rulers at a meeting in Enugu on Saturday have disowned the Indigenous People of Biafra and all pro-Biafra agitators.

The leaders said these groups do not speak for the South East.

The meeting was a sequel to a previous meeting the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd) had with the Igbo leaders, on June 11, 2023, on the security challenges in the region.

Ebonyi State Governor and Chairman South-East Governors Forum Chief David Umahi, read the resolutions of the leaders. The leaders gave the assurance that assured all Nigerians living in the region are safe.

However, they also begged leaders in other regions to protect Igbo.

The communique read in part, "Arising from the meeting of 11th of June 2021, with the presidential team led by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), we the South East people agreed to a further meeting with them as requested by them.

"Consequent upon that, we scheduled our own meeting today the 19th of June to enable us to discuss as brothers and sisters and articulate our positions to enable us to not only engage the presidential team but also engage our people over all burning issues.

"The meeting set up committees under the Ohanaeze to articulate and address our position on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the presidential team.

"We the Igbos do reaffirm our commitment to one United Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another.

"We have noted threats by some groups in some other regions against our people of South East while we firmly promise to protect everyone either from our own region or other regions living in our places.

"We plead with leaders of other regions to please note the threats to our people and to please address the threats to our people and to protect them.

"We condemn the killing of security agents, the burning of strategic infrastructures, and killing of civilians in South East and even in other regions.

"We request our security agencies to please discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law.

"We request our National Assembly members from South East to please support state police creation in the ongoing constitutional amendment.

"We condemn in totality the activities of violence secessionist groups in South East and elsewhere. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them and they do not speak for South East."

They however rejected the impression that the South East leaders were silent over youths' agitation for secession in the South East, describing such notions as incorrect.

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