Worried by the escalating security crisis in the South East, traditional and religious leaders from the zone have urged the federal government and other stakeholders to explore dialogue and negotiation to end the conflict.
The leaders also urged government to take immediate steps to de-proscribe the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and release its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and all IPOB members being held in various detention facilities in Nigeria.
A joint statement by the leaders in the region assured Igbo youths that they are concerned about their cries of marginalisation, injustice and longsuffering, just as they urged them to de-escalate the tension and remain law-abiding as they engage the federal government in finding a lasting solution to the crises.
They further urged IPOB not to do anything that would hinder the smooth running of the forthcoming Governorship Election in Anambra State just as they asked them to cancel all scheduled sit-at-home orders saying it has caused untold hardship on the people.
The statement was jointly signed by chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, H.M. Igwe Charles Mkpuma who also doubles as chairman, Ebonyi State Traditional Rulers Council; chairman, Abia State Trad. Rulers Council, H.M. Eze Joseph N. Nwabeke; chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, H.M. Obi Nnaemeka Achebe; chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, H.M. Igwe Amb L. O. C. Agubuzu; chairman, Imo State Tradition Rulers Council, H.M. Eze Dr. E. C. Okeke among others.
The leaders who noted that the security crisis has deepened the hardships being faced by the citizens and rendered prostrate the socio-political and economic lives of the people, requested an audience with Mr President to discuss possible political solutions to secure the release of Kanu and other security issues in the region.
The statement said, “We, the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops, note with deep concern the high level of insecurity and socio-economic disruption in the South East Zone of Nigeria. This has deepened the hardships being faced by the citizens and rendered prostrate the socio-political and economic lives of our people.