STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANYA-NDI-IGBO ON THE PERSISTING SECURITY CHALLENGES IN THE SOUTH EAST REGION ON NIGERIA: Compelling Need to Stop the Destruction of Lives and Livelihoods.
Generally, Nigerians from all works of life are facing the biggest threat to their lives and livelihoods. The framers of our Nigerian Constitution starting from the 1999 constitution to the last amendment, foresaw today. This explains their provision of the primary duty of government as protection of lives and property. It is therefore, the inalienable right and entitlement of every case
6. We request the Federal Government to put all relevant measures in place to ensure that there is peace and Nigerians are protected as they come out to vote in 2023. All hands must be on deck to ensure that the right things are done. We appeal to the Commanders of the armed forces to collaborate with other State actors to work in synergy to maintain law and order. An insecure nation is a threat to all. It affects our general well being and scares away our financially strong diaspora community as well as genuine investors.
It is in line with this understanding that Anya-Ndi-Igbo, a non-partisan organization, committed to peace, security and development of Ala-Igbo and to peaceful co-existence between Ndi-Igbo and other nationalities, makes the following statements:
We urge all communities in collaboration with the State Governments and The Nigeria Police Force to revive and strengthen their customary methods of protecting their communities to safeguard themselves on a continuing basis.
We request the Association of Igbo Town Unions (ASITU) to coordinate the implementation in the spirit of their continued selfless contribution to the welfare of Ala-Igbo.
We plead with our revered Ecclesiastical Fathers and Traditional Authorities to bless and support these efforts.
Meanwhile, the five Governors of the South East States are respectfully reminded that they cannot abandon their responsibility by allowing this anarchy and festival of blood to continue. They are expected to use their constitutional powers to do the needful, as the Governments of Benue, Rivers and South Western States have done to arrest insecurity in their respective territories.
Governors in the South East should use their membership of the Nigeria Police Council to demand changes to increase the operational efficiency of the Police. A situation where the Commissioner of Police in a State can be posted out, without the input of the State Governor, the State Attorney General and State Ministry of Justice is unacceptable.
South East State governments should enlarge their Ministries of Justice by adding Internal Security to their mandate. The Internal Security desk would cooperate with the police and other security agencies to agree approaches to solving the security problems in the region.
Coroners should be appointed and properly equipped, in every Magisterial District, in the South East. The Coroners should take up all cases of unlawful killings, especially, those ‘unknown’ persons, killed by security forces. All sudden deaths must be fully accounted for, by the Coroner. Coroners’ inquests, properly conducted, will increase justice system visibility and transparency, thereby winning public confidence.
Nigerian to benefit from the primary duty of government to protect lives and property.
In recent years and particularly in the past three years, the scale and depth of insecurity in the South East has become unbearable. Terrorist-type invasions accompanied with massacre and sacking of entire communities, which are hardly countered by Federal and States Governments have become a common feature of the region. Other types of merchants of crime, violence and torture have joined the rampage, thereby creating hell on earth for residents and travelers in the region.
ANYI-NDI-IGBO condemns the havoc being wrecked on Ndi-Igbo by the existence of nonstate actors in the South East, under different guises, acronyms and for other reasons. Only organizations that exist by relevant laws and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should engage in law enforcement. The objective is to make Ala-Igbo safe, not only for NdiIgbo, but also attractive for people from other parts of the country to choose to live in.
4. ANYA-NDI-IGBO advises South East Governors to go the extra mile in addressing security challenges and make security the topmost priority of their administration in order to reverse the current ugly trend. They should use all legitimate powers to stabilise and secure their States from further descent into chaos and work with federal authorities to restore normalcy.
5. We encourage the Federal Government to open their doors for engagement and dialogue with all Agitation Groups as a way of understanding what the issues are and to resolve the genuine goodwill towards all and ill will towards none, Anya-Ndi-Igbo calls on all the sons and daughters of Alaigbo to think about creative and constructive ways of reversing the prevailing security, economic and political challenges in Alaigbo as a solemn duty. It is not time for ambivalence or complicit silence. We will succeed once we resolve to rise to the challenges before us. This current generation must also rise up and face the current challenges and effectively defeat them and triumph or fail and go down in infamy as a generation that lost its ancestral heritage. God forbid!
Elder Dr Uma Eleazu,
Prof Ihechukwu Madubuike,
Engr Chris Okoye,
Dr Abraham Nwankwo,
Sir Okey Nwadinobi
Major General Nick Rogers