The Igbo socio-cultural group has resolved to meet President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene in stemming the tide of insecurity in the Southeast.
The decision was made after a meeting held yesterday, July 10, 2023. at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.
Those present at the meeting included the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, his Ebonyi State counterpart, Francis Nwifuru and former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige.
Others are former Imo State governor, Mr Ikedi Ohakim; former Senate President, Pius Anyim; Osita Chidoka, Prof. Maurice Iwu, Senators Victor Umeh, Tony Nwoye, Sam Egwu, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Darlington Nwokocha, Dave Umahi, Prof. ABC Nwosu, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, Mrs Josephine Anenih, and Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, who hosted the meeting which lasted for over four hours, said insecurity remained the greatest challenge facing the region.
Uzodinma said: “We have identified insecurity as the problem of South East for now and it is at the front burner and must be addressed.
“The Federal Government in the past has supported us but we think that the Federal Government can do more. So among other resolutions, we resolved today to make a representation to the President for his intervention to be able to bring insecurity in the region to an end. So any moment from now, we’ll be putting together an arrangement to visit the president and discuss with him. There are certain things we cannot do very well without the Federal Government. Security is in the Exclusive List and only the federal government can deploy as appropriate.”
On his part, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu said the South-East governors are working together with lawmakers from the zone to find lasting solution to challenges facing the people.
Iwuanyanwu said: “Frankly speaking, I am not going to give you the details of what we want to do. The problem of insecurity is one that cannot be solved by the South-East governors alone. We have resolved that the leadership of Ohanaeze, the governors and lawmakers to get in touch with the President. The problem in South-East is too much, is too big for the governors alone. It is a Nigerian problem and the president will give support to the governors.”
In a chat with newsmen, the immediate past Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said; “The new President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and members of his cabinet came to meet with us, the governors, National Assembly members, former ministers and stakeholders in the South-East.
Ngige said: “In the main, we were discussing the issue of security of our region. They are security and the economy. It is the first maiden visit and we have taken some important resolutions.”
But a source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that the issues bordering on sit-at-home, the continuous incarceration of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the self-styled Biafra Prime Minister, Simon Ekpa were discussed.
According to the source, it was agreed that a delegation will be sent to President Tinubu in the next two weeks for his intervention.
The source said: “The meeting discussed about security in Southeast and everybody agreed that we will now be discussing without political party affiliation in mind and that there is government in place and the government in place should be recognised and supported.
“The issue of Nnamdi Kanu was discussed and it was agreed that we should draw up delegation that will go and see President Bola Tinubu on security situation in the Southeast including Nnamdi Kanu and Simon Ekpa within the next two weeks.”