South-East leaders comprising of governors, other political, religious, traditional and socio-cultural leaders, have condemned violent secessionist groups in the region.
At a meeting in Enugu on Saturday June 19, they distanced themselves from the agitations of such groups and frowned on the violence that ensued which led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties.
The regional leaders stated that the impression that South East leaders are silent over some their youths’ agitations for secession is not correct, while also pointing out that notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations.
The South-East leaders who maintained that these violent secessionist groups do not speak for South-Easterners, announced that they have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears.
They restated the commitment of Ndigbo to one Nigeria under the platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another.
Ebonyi State governor and chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, David Umahi, who read the 9-point communique after the Saturday security and strategic meeting, said;
The statement read;
“We condemn in totality the activities of violent and secessionist group in south-east and elsewhere. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them because they do not speak for South East.
“While we firmly promise to protect everyone either from our region or other regions living in our places, we plead with other regions to please note the threat to our people and please address the threat to our people and protect them.
“We condemn the killing of security agents, burning of infrastructure facilitate and killing of civilians in South-East and even in other regions. We request our security agencies to discharge their duties with the rules of engagement and law.
“We request our nation Assembly members from South-East to please support state creation and state police in ongoing constitutional amendment.
“The impression that Southeast governors are silent over our youths’ agitation and secession is not correct.
“South-East governors, Ohanaeze President, National Assembly members and notable leaders from South-East had come out publicly in the past to speak against such agitation.
“In other not to find ourselves in that unfortunate situation, South-East leaders have set up a committee to engage such group and allow the elders to address their fears.
“Meeting South-East leaders and Ohanaeze to liaise with Northern part of Nigeria and other indigenes that are living in South East to come out openly and assure their people and Nigeria that they are safe and well-protected while living in South East.
“The meeting endorsed South-East joint security outfit Ebubeagu and ask all the personnel of Ebubeagu to work with security agencies and respect right and privileges of all those living in South East and her visitors.”