South-East leaders, comprising governors, political, religious, traditional and socio-cultural leaders, on Saturday, condemned the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the region.
The leaders of the region, in a communique issued after their four-hour meeting in Enugu, deplored the outlawed group’s secessionist agitations in the zone as well as attacks on security formations and other national assets.
Some northern elites and groups had earlier accused South-east leaders of condoning IPOB threats in their region and alleged attacks by members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), on northerners living in the zone.
David Umahi, Ebonyi State governor and chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, who read the 9-point communique at the end of the strategic meeting, assured of protection of people from other regions resident in the South-east.
The leaders restated the commitment of Ndigbo with one Nigeria under the platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another.
The leaders appealed to their northern counterparts and others to protect Igbos resident in their zones.
“We condemn in totality the activities of violent and secessionist group in south-east and elsewhere. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them because they do not speak for South East,” they stated in a communique read at the end of the four-hour meeting,” Umahi said.
“While we firmly promise to protect everyone either from our region or other regions living in our places, we plead with other regions to please note the threat to our people and please address the threat to our people and protect them.
“We condemn the killing of security agents, burning of infrastructure facilitate and killing of civilians in South-East and even in other regions. We request our security agencies to discharge their duties with the rules of engagement and law.
“We request our nation Assembly members from South-East to please support state creation and state police in ongoing constitutional amendment.
“The impression that Southeast governors are silent over our youths’ agitation and secession is not correct.
“South-East governors, Ohanaeze President, National Assembly members and notable leaders from South-East had come out publicly in the past to speak against such agitation.
“In other not to find ourselves in that unfortunate situation, South-East leaders have set up a committee to engage such group and allow the elders to address their fears.
“Meeting South-East leaders and Ohanaeze to liaise with Northern part of Nigeria and other indigenes that are living in South East to come out openly and assure their people and Nigeria that they are safe and well-protected while living in South East.
“The meeting endorsed South-East joint security outfit Ebubeagu and ask all the personnel of Ebubeagu to work with security agencies and respect right and privileges of all those living in South East and her visitors.”