Okwe, NIGERIA: Lucia Ihim carries her nine-month-old sibbling Chidera Ihim, wearing Biafran colors, 19 August 2005 during a rally by the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra in Okwe in southeastern Nigeria. More than three decades after the breakaway "Republic of Biafra" suffered a bloody defeat at the hands of federal forces, rebellious shoppers are once again spending Biafran pounds and shillings in the markets of southeastern Nigeria. In the latest sign of the centrifugal forces threatening to tear Africa's largest oil exporter apart, ethnic Igbo rebel leaders have reintroduced the bills, which are identical to those minted during Biafra's doomed three-year struggle for independence. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

IZUNWANNE, a body of senior journalists from the Southeast geopolitical zone, has condemned what it called wanton violence in the zone, while calling on President Muhammadu to deescalate tension by embracing more dialogue, just as it called on those carrying out attacks on public institutions in the zone to drop their weapons and embrace peace.

The group in a statement on Tuesday, by its chairman, Sir Abuchi Anueyiagu and secretary, Elder Ngwuoke Ngwuoke, also condemned the wanton killing of innocent youth of the zone by security agencies in the guise of fighting Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“IZUNWANNE condemns in strong terms the wanton violence that has suddenly engulfed the Southeast and Southsouth geo-political zones of the country, and call for the return of peace,” the group said.

“We also condemn in very strong terms the attack on government agencies and assets, as well as the killing of security personnel by whichever unidentified gunmen in the zones. This should stop,” the group said.

“Our association also roundly condemns the attendant indiscriminate killing of innocent persons in the guise of going after the arsonists and destroyers of public facilities in the area.

“The situation in Owerri where security agents indiscriminately go after mass arrests of youths in churches and their families is unacceptable to IZUNWANNE and should stop forthwith.

“IZUNWANNE pleads with President Muhammadu Buhari to cool his temper as the father of the country and review his “shoot at sight” order to stop security operatives from taking advantage of the order to engage in indiscriminate shootings and mowing down of the lives of many vulnerable, helpless and innocent people in both southeast and Southsouth zones of the country, as is currently the case in the two zones. Such approach can never bring peace but would rather compound issues, lead to intimidation, suppression and coercion. There are better other possible and legal ways available to government to responsibly bring about peace and tranquility in the zones than the present path which the security forces are taking.

“We support a UNITED Nigeria, where equity, justice and fair play are the principles that should govern the co-existence of all peoples of the country.

“No organisation linked with violence should be linked with Ndi Igbo as a people. Ndigbo are not in support of any group of persons who have taken to violence under whatever name or guise.

“The Igbo are peace loving enterprising people who live everywhere in Nigeria and have investments there and will never as a people support or resort to using violence as a means of settling issues with anyone. Wherever they are found outside their homelands they always live in peace with their hosts.

“As a people, Ndigbo do not support the killing of security forces and burning of public and private properties by unknown gunmen on one hand and the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by enraged security personnel on the other hand hand, in the Southeast geo-political zone.

“We call for refrain from engaging in such atrocities by the parties involved.”




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