Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Determined to end the worrisome insecurity in the South-East associated with the continued illegal incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, South-East leaders comprising Governors, major stakeholders and Ohanaeze chieftains, have resolved to meet with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Ikengaonline learned that the Ohanaeze delegation is to meet with the President in Aso Rock as quickly as possible as insecurity in the South-East is fast taking a disturbing dimension following the latest two-week lockdown declared by self-styled Biafra Prime Minister and Finland-based agitator, Simon Ekpa.
The decision to meet with the President was taken at an emergency meeting of the leaders held Wednesday at Imo Governor’s lodge in Abuja.
Participants at the meeting included the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State; Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State; former Imo Governor, Ikedi Ohakim; and the immediate-past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige.
Others were former Senate President, Pius Anyim; Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka; Prof. Maurice Iwu; Dr Okwesirieze Nwodo; and Senator Victor Umeh.
Former Ebonyi State Governor, Senator Sam Egwu; Senators Tony Nwoye; Darlington Nwokocha; and Dave Umahi were also among the roll call at the meeting.
Ikengaonline further learned that Prof. ABC Nwosu; Ambassador Kema Chikwe; Mrs Josephine Anenih; were also among the participants.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting which lasted for over four hours, the host, Senator Uzodinma, said insecurity remained the greatest challenge confronting ala Igbo.
He said that Igbo leaders believed that the Federal Government could do more to end insecurity in the region, hence the resolve to seek audience with Mr President.
“We have identified insecurity as the problem of South-East for now and it is at the front burner and must be addressed.
“The Federal Government in the past had supported us but we think that the Federal Government can do more. So among other resolutions, we resolved today to make a representation to the President for his intervention to be able to bring insecurity in the region to an end.
“So , any moment from now, we’ll be putting together an arrangement to visit the President and discuss with him.
“There are certain things we cannot do very well without the Federal Government. Security is in the Exclusive List and only the Federal Government can deploy as appropriate.”
Adding his voice, Chief Iwuanyanwu said the South-East Governors were working in collaboration with other stakeholders including lawmakers from the zone to end the menace of insecurity.
He, however, declined to give details of the action plan marshalled out by the leaders, but said that very soon there would be positive results.
“Frankly speaking, I am not going to give you the details of what we want to do. The problem of insecurity is one that cannot be solved by the South-East governors alone.
“We have resolved that the leadership of Ohanaeze, the governors and lawmakers to get in touch with the President. The problem in South-East is too much, is too big for the governors alone. It is a Nigerian problem and the president will give support to the governors.”
Another source at the meeting said that the issue of 14-day lockdown by Ekpa and the indiscriminate sit-at-home order in the zone were part of the boiling issues to be thrashed with the President.
The source believes that the release of Kanu who has been in detention at the Abuja headquarters of the Department of State Services, DSS, since June 2021 following his abduction in Kenya and extraordinarily rendition to Nigeria, would help douse tension in the zone.
Kanu has been acquitted and discharged of all treason charges preferred against him by the Federal Government but the Nigerian Authorities have unjustifiably refused to release him.
Majority of Ndigbo both home and in the diaspora see his continued incarceration as unjust and a spite on the entire Igbo race, hence the undying agitation for his release.