outh-East governors have expressed their commitment to the welfare of Ndigbo and other law-abiding Nigerians as ever in all parts of the world, re-assuring South Easterners of constant engagement of appropriate Ministries, Agencies and Departments with a view to ensuring that the Igbo man and woman are not deliberately shortchanged.
The clarification came on the heels of the Igbo Union, an organisation of citizens and residents of Igbo extraction registered in the State of California, United States of America who recently accused the South East Governors of Nigeria of “insensitivity to the threat and terrorisation of Igbo by suspected Fulani herdsmen roaming (Igbo) villages with their cattle and Ak-47 rifles.”
That accusation was their reaction to the killing by herdsmen of one Mazi Ozoemena Iriaka, a 65-year-old who hailed from Umuekpu-Agwa community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State.
But the governors of the South-East said nothing could be farther than the truth, stating that .the governors rose from a meeting last year and openly expressed their displeasure with the procedure adopted by the Inspector-General of Police on Community Policing.
This made the police boss to quickly convene a meeting with them where both parties amicably resolved their grievances and agreed to work together for the good of the South East region and Nigeria.
The South-East governors are working to have a regional security network. Each individual State in the region has got its own security outfit-Forest Guards in Enugu, Neighbourhood watch in Ebonyi andOperation kpochapu in Anambra. The scenario is the same in Imo and Abia states.
The governors are working to harmonize the operations of these security agencies. There are some legislative and logistical issuesinvolved here, and they will be sorted out over time. The South East governors are quite conscious of the need to balance the interests of Ndigbo with those of other Nigerians within the Nigerian Federation.
In a statement by the Director, Media and Communication of the South East Governors’ Forum, Michael Ike Udah said the governors were in constant dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as their counterparts in other geo-political zones/regions in our country on the safety of the Igbos in particular.
“It is necessary to add here that such dialogue is also extended to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the umbrella Igbo socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, South East National Assembly Caucus, etc. South-East Traditional Rulers’ Council is not left out by the South East Governors who operate under the aegis of the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF). The same thing applies to other Igbo stake-holding groups: Igbo Leaders of Thought, Igbo Clergy; South East Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture; South-East Security Committee, South East Consultative Committee on Health, etc.
“The South East Governors’ Forum is pained each time Ndigbo are killed, raped, manhandled or appear to have been short-changed. In this particular instance, their hearts go out to the family of Mazi Ozoemena Iriaka, Umuekpu-Agwa community, Oguta Local Government Area, Imo State Government and Ndigbo in general.”