Northern elders under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD), have commended the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, for distancing the zone from a recent inciting statement by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
This was even as the elders hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for what they considered was the civil approach he adopted in dealing with the situation leading looting and burning of private and public infrastructure across the country, by suspected hoodlums.
In a statement, Wednesday, CNEEPD argued that the president’s directive to security forces, was responsible for the professional manner they have handled the chaotic situation so far.
As a show of solidarity, the elders have assured of their readiness project the issues of alleged marginalisation of the South East zone, in a bid to alter the equation.
They have, however, appealed to Ndigbo to rally support for the success of the President Buhari-led administration.
“We also wish to strongly commend how swift the Ohananze Ndigbo, South East Peace Practitioners, Igbo Youths Worldwide, Igbo Leagues of Professionals and several other Igbo groups from distancing themselves from the so called leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu over his inciting comments which was aimed at setting us up against each other during the protests.
“This has endeared the Igbo nation to the North once again. This also has shown their resolve to build one and prosperous Nigeria of our dream where peace and justice shall be the hallmark.
“As elders, we must clearly state that the country has not been fair to Igbo people in all ramifications and we must admit this fact as true Muslims,” the statement said.
Apart from urging that: “The Igbos must believe and work for the unity of Nigeria to enable other parts of Nigerians to speak up for them,” the elders said, adding that, “we are so pleased with the speed at which many Igbo groups disowned Nnamdi Kanu and his evil intention.”
On the handling of the ongoing situation in the country, CNEEPD noted: “We wish to sincerely thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, for his wisdom in handling the youths uprising that resulted in killings, looting, stealing, and burning down of both private and public properties in some states of the federation.
“These actions by some misguided youths and criminal elements who were out to deliberately instigate religious and ethnic tensions in Nigeria were unfortunate.
“But we thank the president for the civil approaches he used in dousing the tension,” they said.