Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) and Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko has commended Igbo national assembly members for making effort to find solution to ongoing security challenge in the Southeast, but warned that lasting peace will continue to elude the country until there is power devolution.
Uko who is also Deputy Secretary of Igbo leaders of Thought, in a statement on Thursday, however, noted that the steps taken by the Igbo national assembly members, “to engage the agitators and seek political solution to the agitation, is very commendable.”
Recall that National Assembly members comprising senators and members of the House of Representatives from Southeast Nigeria under the umbrella of Southeast National Assembly Caucus, had in a communique after their meeting in Abuja yesterday, condemned the destruction of lives and property in the zone by hoodlums enforcing a sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Nigeria (IPOB), even when the separatist group had cancelled the order, noting that it has set up a committee to interface with the federal government and other stakeholders to check the menace.
The lawmakers had also resolved to intervene on the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the IPOB, whose arrest and detention by the federal government prompted the sit-at-home protests and violence that has followed.
Reacting to the intervention of the lawmakers, Uko said they have done well and therefore should be supported.
He noted that, “Ignoring the agitation, staying aloof and shying away from reality, will never resolve the crisis.”
According to him, “Now that they have stood up to be counted, it is imperative they go the whole hog, and initiate talks with the central government.
“It may be time to partner with other regions and articulate the grievances driving the agitation, bring stakeholders together, and sincerely search for a mutual meeting point with the federal authorities.
“The delay in doing this over the years, actually hurt early reconciliation and resolution. Rekindling the search for resolution, peace,harmony and closure, is the way to go.”
Uko called on all stakeholders to join hands with the lawmakers and other Igbo leaders with a view to finding solutions to the challenges in the region, but noted that true solution lies in the ending the suffocating unitary structure of the Nigerian federation, which according to him, is responsible for the agitations.
He said, “I therefore call on all and sundry, to join hands and assist in any way they can in the duty of restoring sanity to our land.
“It may be important to remind our politicos, that search for a resolution of the matter under the current unitary system is an insincere and unhelpful gambit, as the choking and suffocating unitary structure, is actually at the root of the frustrations fuelling the agitation.
“Any search for resolution, that doesn’t include the reconstruction of the polity, may not resolve the loss of faith driving the agitation.
“Sincerely facing the truth and commitedly working with others to seek an all encompassing roadmap agreeable to all, should be their guiding compass.
“Too much time had been wasted already, many avoidable mistakes made. The lack of appreciation of the truth, that was responsible for the mishandling of the earlier peace process four years ago, must not be repeated.
“I also call on the agitators to humbly cooperate with the peace process. I disagree with those suggesting that the legislators are not sincere.
“I believe the legislators are sincere because I know they don’t know an alternative route of escape from the crisis.
“There’s no alternative. There’s no better alternative to engagement, dialogue, peaceful agreement and closure.
“Meanwhile, I commend the Southern Governors Forum for their sagacity and their newfound dedication to the truth and dynamism. The people are with them and are very proud of their steps so far. Nigeria needs an overhaul, struggling to avoid the needful overhauling is unintelligent and dangerous.”