INSECURITY IN S/E: RELIGIOUS LEADERS, MONARCHS SLAM PRESIDENCY, GOVERNORS
Representatives of Religious and Traditional leaders of the South East Council have jointly expressed their disappointment in the handling of the insecurity issue in the region.
This was made known on Monday in a communique cited by Punch.
According to the council, the Presidency and State Governors of the region has failed to acknowledge or respond to a letter they sent three months ago seeking means and avenues to restore peace in the region, in order to reduce the burden of tension on the people as to ensure their lives are not endangered.
It is worrisome that the Presidency and the State governors are obviously ignoring the values of the dialogue in providing a solution to the security crisis, the group lamented.
The council is aggrieved that both the Presidency and State governors by ignoring the call for dialogue have made some groups in the region believe that ensuring peace and stability is not the priority of the Federal Government.
Extracts from communique read as follows, “Confronted with the escalation of insecurity in the South-East, and concerned that the responses of those in authority were failing to stem the tide of violence, especially in the run-up to the Gubernatorial Elections in Anambra State, the Council issued a public appeal on Sunday, 30th October, 2021, for a de-escalation and suspension of the IPOB sit-at-home order. We undertook extensive behind-the-scenes consultations with all relevant stakeholders.
“In a bid to sustain the momentum gained, on November 3, 2021, the Joint Body wrote a letter to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), requesting an
“The purpose of the request was to dialogue and explore avenues for peace-building, douse the tension in the South East to ensure it does not result in grave socio-economic burden on our people. The joint Body fears that further delay or inaction on this request may have the unintended consequence of giving credence, albeit erroneously, to the belief by some groups in the region that restoring peace and stability is not the primary
goal of the Federal Government.
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“In the same vein, genuine efforts made through the Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum to dialogue with South East Governors have so far also met a brick wall. Taken together, the shuttered silence gives room for suspicion and presents ominous portends if left unattended to.
“It has been three months since the letter was written and delivered to the office of the President. The Presidency has neither acknowledged receipt nor responded to the letter.
“It is puzzling that the President and the South-East Governors appear to be ignoring the demonstrated value of dialogue and consensus-building in finding a lasting solution to the region’s security issues.
“As leaders who are continuously required by our burden of service to interface with the populace, the Joint Body is desirous of confirming the sincerity and commitment of the Federal Government, in particular, to finding a lasting solution to the security crisis.”
The communique was signed by the Chairman, Ebonyi State Trad. Rulers Council and South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Charles Mkpuma; Chairman, Anambra State Trad. Rulers Council, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe; Chairman, Enugu State Trad. Rulers Council, Igwe Agubuzu; Chairman,
Imo State Trad. Rulers Council, Eze Okeke; Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Obinna.
Others include Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Most Rev. Chibuzo Opoko;
Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke; Past Principal Clerk Presbyterian Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Uma Onwunta; Chairman, Abia State Trad. Rulers Council, Eze Joseph Nwabeke; Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Obi Onubogu; and Anglican Archbishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma.