Governors from across the South East geo-political zone have promised to address the ongoing insecurity and criminal activities in their region within the next six months by coming up with solutions to the plight of their youths who have resorted to violence of late. Over recent weeks, violence has erupted across the southeast geo-political zone with police stations being burnt down and correctional facilities been attacked by some unknown gunmen.
With the crisis moving out of control, the South East Governors Forum has come under pressure to do something about the violence and just yesterday, the South East Governors stated that the matter which it associates with marginalization will be looked into immediately.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, said they will soon engage the federal government over the issue of marginalization on Igbo youths which has pitted the restive youths against the state governments. Among other things, he assured the agitating youth in the zone that all their grievances will be looked into with a view to resolving them within six months.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, Governor Dave Umahi asked the youths who are bitter over the region’s marginalization to give the state governors six months to dialogue with the federal government of Nigeria with a view to resolving their grievances. He added that past governments failed to properly deal with the issue of marginalization on the Igbos, thereby giving rise to the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and later the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
Governor Dave Umahi according to his words said; “And so, I have offered along with other governors to our youths, to present your demands in print and hand them over. There is no region in this country today that does not have one thing or the other against the federal government of Nigeria but we can sit down to discuss it.
“Let us see your demands, let us see your grievances and give us six months to engage the federal government of Nigeria to address all these issues because I believe in dialogue. I believe that we can sit down as a people to discuss and find our differences and we can learn from our differences and also we can together discuss how we can strengthen our operation as a people,” he stated.
Describing the rising of IPOB as a product of Federal Government failures to address the demands of the Igbos, Governor Dave Umahi noted that although the people of the South East have justifiable grievances, their agitation appeared to have been hijacked. He assured that despite all the crises in the zone, the South East will not secede from the Nigerian nation.
According to his words; “I think those people were so badly ignored and that shouldn’t have been like that, and so, what is happening today with regards to IPOB in the South East. The truth is that IPOB is not a product of this government per se but it is a product of federal governments that didn’t address the matters from the outset. We don’t want to disintegrate from Nigeria; we want to belong to Nigeria. We want a fair Nigeria with justice, equity and freedom, which is the platform upon which we are supposed to live in as human and as people,” Governor Dave Umahi stated.
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