Governors of the five states in the South-east have defended the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying those behind insecurity in the region were criminals and not Biafra agitators.
The governors stated this after their over two hours closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu on Thursday.
In attendance at the meeting was Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State, his Abia State counterpart, Alex Otti, and the host governor, Peter Mbah of Enugu State.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Charles Soludo, his Anambra State counterpart, were also in attendance.
Recall that security has deteriorated in the Igbo-speaking part of the South-east with frequent attacks by armed persons. The attacks often target security agencies, government officials and facilities
Hundreds of people have been killed or injured and many properties worth billions of naira destroyed in such attacks.
The Nigerian government has accused the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) of being responsible for the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attacks.
But briefing reporters on behalf of the governors, the chairperson of the South-east Governors Forum, Mr Uzodinma, who read out a communique issued at the end of the meeting, said they have “firmly resolved to fight insecurity decisively” in the region both individually and collectively.
He said the governors also resolved to fight the insecurity in partnership with the federal government and other unnamed stakeholders.
“We wish to state categorically that the perpetrators of the insecurity in the region and their sponsors are criminals and should not be seen as legitimate (Biafra) agitators.
“Therefore, upon arrest, they (the perpetrators) should be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land,” he said.
The governors also announced that they had resolved to hold a security and economic summit on a date that will be communicated soon.
They commended the security agencies for their cooperation so far in the fight against insecurity in the region and urged them not to relent at this time.