South East governors with Ohanaeze leaders

OBINNA EZUGWU

Governors of the Southeast on Sunday condemned Saturday’s attack on the Omuma country home of Imo Governor Hope Uzodinma by gunmen on Saturday.

The governors who met in Enugu with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndígbo, clerics and members of the South East Security Committee, urged security agencies to bring the attackers to book.

Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi read the communique after the meeting.

“The meeting condemns the attacks on the country home of the Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma and other State infrastructure,” Umahi said.

“We sympathise with him and call on the Federal Government to fish out the perpetrators and ensure their prosecution”.

The Governors also restated adoption of a regional Joint Security outfit, Ebube Agu, with headquarters in Enugu, even as they sought legal backing for the outfit.

“Ebube Agu will work with the Police and other security agencies in her operations to protect lives and property in South East.

“We agreed on the structure and operational modalities of EBUBEAGU and to set up an Advisory Board for the security outfit,” they added.

The Governors said plans were on to give the new security outfit legal backing.

“The Hon. Attorney Generals and Commissioners for Justice of the South East States have been directed to work with the Joint Security Committee to come up with the amendment of the existing State Laws to reflect the new EBUBEAGU outfit,” they said

The meeting directed Ohanaeze Ndigbo President to immediately form Peace and Reconciliation and Strategy and Welfare Committees.

“The South East Peace and Reconciliation Committee is to engage our people for the peace and security of our people and her visitors.

“The Strategy and Welfare Committee will engage and protect our people, especially those who are being unfairly treated”, they said.

The Governor’s said the committees must become functional within the next 10 days.

The Governors also affirmed the ban on open grazing in the region.

“South East leaders restate their commitments to our State laws banning open grazing in the South East and urge the security agencies and the local vigilantes to enforce the ban in all States of South East.

“South East Governors agreed on the implementation of various END SARS Youth Empowerment Programmes in the South East States as soon as possible,” they added.

Governors of Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia attended the meeting while Anambra and Imo were represented by the deputy governors.

Similarly, the leadership of Ohanaeze, condemned the attack, describing it as s sacrilege against everything moral and ethical.

In a statement signed by the publicity Secretary of Prof. led Igbo apex body, Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze said the action was against Igbo culture and tradition and very unacceptable.

“This is not acceptable and must be condemned by Ndigbo, anywhere, everywhere. We must as Igbo, no matter the cause, not attack our sanctuaries. This is an abomination and a new development that is totally out of character of the Igbo,” he said.

“The President General therefore warns the Igbo youths not to be used or make themselves available to be used by those elements within and outside Igbo land that want to turn the South East of Nigeria into a theatre of crises, conflicts and violence.

“We must as Ndigbo be careful with what confronts us in the form of challenges against the prospects and possibilities of achieving our objective of a President of Nigeria from the South East of Nigeria by our detractors and competitors. “The present attempt to turn the South East, the most peaceful zone in Nigeria in recent years, into a crises and violent region, definitely has ulterior motives which must be thoroughly investigated.

“Also, the idea of targeting the leaders of the zone is equally a serious issue that must be considered by the leaders of the zone and the federal government.

“The Ohanaeze Ndigbo expresses sadness over the unfortunate incident at Omuma and grateful to God that His Excellency, Governor Hope Uzodinma and members of his immediate family were not hurt.”