The coalition of South East Peace Practitioners Network (SOEAPAT), has urged Northern state governors to engage youths in the region on peace building and advocacy, with a view to consolidating on the gains achieved.
This was as the group applauded youths in the Northern parts of the country over what they said was their peaceful disposition during the #EndSARS protests, that raged in many cities across the country.
The coalition further noted that despite alleged acts of provocation in some parts of the country, northern youths were restraint, a development it said,was in contrast with what obtained in the past.
In a statement, SOEAPAT said: “We want to specially appeal to all the Northern governors to begin a comprehensive and sincere youths engagement in their various states to consolidate on the peace efforts of the Northern youths.
“They should form pressure groups that will be tasked with carrying out peace advocacy around their states.”
On the said conduct of Northern youths in the face of provocation, the group observed thus: “The way the youths conducted themselves in the North this time around in the midst of some (alleged) provocative falsehood on social media to incite the people against the Igbo tribe by some merchants of crises is quite commendable.
“This goes to show that our youths are now ready to take leadership of the country.”
According to the group: “For us to defeat this long-time hatred sold to us by some enemies of peace and unity of our country through religious and ethnic sentiments, we must distinguish between criminality and collective action of a people.
“Once we are able to separate criminality, we will work together to defeat any evil and crisis merchants like it’s the case now.
“Naturally, by now, there would have been violent response targeted at Igbo people and businesses around the North but to the glory of God, the northern youths with the help of the elders and ulamas disappointed the crises merchants by remaining peaceful.
“We call on our Igbo brothers in the North and other places to continue to show respect to their host communities and continue to engage them with a view to having a peaceful coexistence.”
Meanwhile, the peace advocacy group has restated its claim of perceived marginalisation of the zone, which it insisted, preceded the current administration.
It said: “While we must state here again that we have been marginalized overtime even before the administration of President Buhari, we kindly appeal to our people to be patient, calm, and press home our demands for inclusiveness legitimately and not to demand for secession.”