South East govs to IPOB: We’ll meet FG on Kanu

November 5, 2021
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From Magnus Eze, Awka and Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki

Governors of the South East, yesterday, blamed criminals, including armed robbers, cultists and kidnappers for the festering insecurity in the region.

They also urged voters in Anambra State to go out tomorrow and vote for the candidates of their choice in the governorship election.

The governors said the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) if its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was not released unconditionally on November 4, was illegal, adding  they were already working with security agencies to ensure adequate security for the voters during the election.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, in a statement commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies for insisting that the Anambra election must hold as scheduled.

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Umahi said insecurity in the region had gone beyond IPOB and pro-Biafran agitators, saying the criminal elements were hiding under the pro-Biafran struggles to commit sundry crimes.

He urged security agencies to go after them, and make adequate efforts to protect Anambra voters during the election tomorrow, while ensuring they play by the rules of engagement.

Umahi, however, disclosed political solution was being sought for the issues, and expressed the hope the separatist group would call off the illegal sit-at-home order to enable voters to go out to cast their votes without fear of attacks.

“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 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 the Federal Government on these issues, including deploying political solutions in the case of 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.

“We plead with security agencies deployed for Anambra election to secure the lives of our people in Anambra State while playing within the rules of their engagements,” the governors said.

They further expressed the confidence that through their mediation in collaboration with the religious leaders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and traditional rulers, IPOB will see reasons to call off all sit-at-home orders.

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