From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
South East Igbo Youth leaders have commended the South East governors and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide for their declaration and support of May 30 as a public holiday.
In a press statement signed by the youths’ spokesman, Mazi Chukwma Okpalaezeukwu and made available to Daily Sun, the youths said this would go a long way in consoling and healing the pains of many Biafrans and should serve as a day for reflection and meditation of the effects and impacts of the war.
They urged the federal government to embrace the initiative as a national day of healing.
In another development, the youths said they are completely aligned with the positions of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide under the leadership of Professor George Obiozor that Igbos would not break up from Nigeria, but would not be victims of Nigeria unity. ‘Indeed, the unity of Nigeria is paramount but not at all cost. We are committed to peace, justice, equity and fairness,’ they said.
Throughout history, according to the youths, people denied justice have no interest in peace, saying that it is either restructuring or referendum.
‘On this note, we hereby pass a vote of confidence and reaffirm our solidarity and support to the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide, and therefore urge the Federal Government not to consider the use of force or military action, as at the moment applied in South East, which can inevitably lead to more provocation, anarchy and disintegration,’ the statement read.
‘We admonish that psychological operation (PSYOPS) would be more effecient as a sure alternative, considering the reality of Nigerian irresistible pluralism.
‘Our attention has been drawn to the statements of the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG) in a letter addressed to the Emir of Kano, which clearly played an unfounded blame game of hatred without addressing the issues. For the records, most of the security officers affected by the crisis in the South East are Igbos. A notable example is the late Ifeanyi Amah from Ebonyi State. He got enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force in 2018. He was shot and killed alongside seven other police officers, mostly Christians, at Abriba in Abia State.
‘There have been carnage and mass killings, kidnapping and raping of innocent people in Southern Nigeria, especially in South East, by killer herdsmen who are from Northern Nigeria. But because Ndigbo are committed to peace and justice, we do not rush into conclusion or inciting statements like the so-called Coalition of Northern Groups; neither are we cowards.
‘Prof Obioma, former NECO Registrar was murdered in Niger State of Northern Nigeria recently. This is indeed an unfortunate national security impasse that can only be resolved by consciously and sincerely addressing the issues without bias or hatred.
‘On this note, we urge Ndi Igbo in Northern Nigeria to remain resilient, law-abiding and vigilant, promoting peaceful coexistence as we go about our various business activities.
‘We call on the Federal Government to expeditiously withdraw the militarization in South East. Most worrisome is the alleged secret arresting and killing of Igbo youths by the military. We are calling on the Federal Government to immediately stop the random arrest and unjust killing of Igbo youths under the guise of IPOB and/or ESN members.
‘It is unfortunate that a revered organisation like the Nigerian Army, no longer apply the tenets of professionalism and respect for human rights while discharging their duties. This is one of the obvious reasons the security agencies have lost the confidence and support of the masses.
‘The viral #EndSARS saga is a typical demonstration of this fact. We, therefore, call on police and the sister agencies to discharge their duties professionally and with dignity in order to restore the support and confidence of the taxpayers.’
The youths noted that this was a challenging moment for the Igbo people, a time that they needed unseen strength and leadership to overcome and prevail.
They insisted that strength and leadership could only be found in unity and sacrifice. They called on the South East governors, the traditional rulers and political stakeholders to rise up to the occasion, foster unity and engage the youths in order to maximize impact and restore stability in South East, adding ‘security is everyone’s business; a stitch in time saves nine.’