Igbo groups of the Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) and Concerned Igbo Stakeholders in Enugu have called on the five governors from the South-East to work with their State Assemblies in resolving the crises in Igboland.
The groups lamented the deteriorating security situation in the South East, which has claimed the lives of security agents, innocent citizens and destruction of public infrastructural facilities.
While it condemned the recent genocidal comment of President Muhammadu Buhari against Igbo youths, the groups urged the Nigerian government to convene a national dialogue to address the complexity of the nation’s challenges.
These were contained in a communique issued by the groups after their meeting and made available to SaharaReporters by Barrister Austin Okeke on Friday.
“The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), therefore having widely consulted with and collated the views of the leaderships and the Town Unions, and working in concert with many other respected Igbo groups, which include Nzuko Umunna, Igbo World Assembly, World Igbo Congress, Alaigbo Development Foundation, Ekwe Nche, Igbo Board of Deputies and Council of Igbo States in America etc., deemed it pertinent to convene a one-day emergency security meeting. We now wish to make the following resolutions public:
“Nigeria has lately been mired in serious security challenges. Terrorists, armed bandits and killer herders have continued with their destructive activities in various parts of the country, even with an overwhelming audacity.
“In Igboland, the security situation has deteriorated, especially in the last few months. The carnage against the poor, defenceless and vulnerable rural dwellers by invading armed Fulani militiamen who masquerade as herders have gone on unabated and unchecked.
We condemn the continued attacks by killer herders in our land. The inability of the security operatives to track and bring these merchants of death to justice over the years has remained inexplicable and unacceptable to us.
“We equally urge the state governors to immediately work with the state assemblies and pass regional security laws for the south-east given the regional nature of our challenges.
“We urge the state governors and Assemblies to ensure that in the shortest possible time we have a robust and fully operational regional security system which builds on the neighbourhood watches and vigilantes and is fully manned by locals from the topmost personnel to the lowest officials to be accepted by Ndigbo. In addition, it must not be or be seen to be politicized in any shape or form.
“Finally, we call on the Federal Government to immediately convene a national dialogue to resolve the many fundamental questions that have continued to breed crises in Nigeria and fan the embers of insecurity, thereby posing serious threats to the lives and livelihoods of people,” part of the statement read.
In the communique issued by Association of South East Town Unions, World Igbo Congress, Igbo World Assembly, Alaigbo Development Foundation, Nzuko Umunna, Ekwe Nche, Council of Igbo States in America, Anioma Redemption Group, Igbo Board of Deputies, Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo, and ASETU Women Forum, there was an appeal to the assailants disturbing the peace of the South-East to sheathe their swords.
The groups launched a portal for the Igbo people to collect data on several crises going on in the region. They also alerted the international community to keep abreast of the atrocities ravaging the region.
“We, therefore, call on all those who indulge in such retrogressive enterprise to have a rethink and immediately retrace their steps in the overall interest of Ndiigbo.
“We hereby launch the Igbo Human Rights Violations Portal (IHRVP), whose mandate includes the collation of details of all victims of the killings by Fulani herdsmen, extra-judicial murders and other human rights violations in Igboland for onward action in the International Criminal Court. This will be coordinated in conjunction with the State Bar Associations in Igboland and volunteer senior legal practitioners and activists.
“We equally wish to put the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the African Union, ECOWAS, United States of America, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Israel on notice of the public encouragement given by the President to uniformed officers and the general public to engage in genocidal behaviour against Ndiigbo,” the statement further read.