South East Elders Council has described the growing insecurity in the region as unacceptable and one requiring urgent attention.
The elders expressed their concern after their meeting in Onitsha, the commercial capital of Anambra State, saying the worsening insecurity in the South East, especially the killings and destruction of property was inhibiting the economic growth of the people.
In a communique signed by its Chairman, Anthony Iguh, a former justice of Supreme Court and Chief Judge of Anambra and Donald Okoli, its secretary, the group said it would convene a stakeholders’ meeting with the aim of finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
The stakeholders’ meeting, which would hold in July, would draw other participants from traditional institutions, religious leaders, security experts and academia from the South East.
The elders also backed the call for a president from South East to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and urged the major political parties in the country to produce candidates from the zone.
“On May 11, the national executive council met and agreed on the need for an urgent meeting of all, inclusive of Igbo elder statesmen, critical/major stakeholders and national advisory council. This will bridge the cultural, religious and economic gaps in leadership and governance in Igbo land and deliberate on current security challenges bedevilling the region and other parts of the country.
“The meeting will proffer solutions to how best to solve the problem by way of revamping sustainable economic development.
“It is the turn of the Igbo to produce the next president of Nigeria based on their contributions to the sustainable development of key sectors of the Nigerian economy, and having been denied this position since the end of civil war in 1970.
“We called on the major political parties to field their presidential candidates from Igbo extraction in the forthcoming presidential election based on equity, justice and fairness. We call on all people from Igbo descent to unite for the purpose of achieving the presidency in 2023,” the elders said.