From Jude Chinedu, Enugu
Southeast governors and other leaders in the zone have called on their Northern counterparts to protect the Igbo living in the North.
The call was made during an emergency security meeting of Southeast leaders in Enugu yesterday.
The meeting which was attended by ministers, political, religious and traditional leaders from the zone was a follow-up to a similar meeting with a presidential delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Maj.Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) on June 11.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Chairman of South East Governors Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, regretted that although leaders in the zone had reassured the people from other regions of their safety, Ndigbo are still being threatened, especially in the North.
He maintained that the impression that leaders in the zone were silent over the rising wave of agitation was wrong as they have come out publicly to speak against the agitations.
“We have noted threats by some groups against our people of Southeast, while we firmly promise to protect everyone either from other regions or ours, we plead with the leaders of other regions to protect our people living in their regions.
“We condemn the killing of security agencies, burning of infrastructure facilities and killing of civilians in Southeast and even in other regions. We request our security agencies to discharge their duties with the rules of engagement and law.
“We condemn in totality the activities of violence and secessionist group in Southeast and elsewhere. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them because they do not speak for Southeast. The impression that Southeast governors are silent over our youths agitation and secession is not correct.
“We, the Igbo 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 again endorsed Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies to ensure the protection of lives and property of the people in the Southeast.
Those present at the meeting included the host Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Deputy Governors of Anambra and Imo states, Dr. Nkem Okeke and Prof. Placid Njoku respectively, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogah, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Amb. George Obiozor, former President of the Senate, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governor of old Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator Sam Egwu, former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and former Military Administrator of old Anambra State, Rear Admiral Allison Madueke.
Also in attendance were the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi; the Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu; Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu; Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga, Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel O. Chukwuma, Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, immediate past President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, among others.