South East Governors have pledged their commitment to an indivisible and united Nigeria.
The Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi, David Umahi, gave the assurance in Abuja on at a media event organised by the Presidential Media Team.
He said: “We do not want to secede from Nigeria but we want a Nigeria where justice and equity prevails. We want peace.”
Umahi, who lamented the increasing insecurity in the South East, noted that the peaceful agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other groups in the South-East have been hijacked by bandits.
“The situation in the South East right now is a situation in which non-violent approach of IPOB at the beginning has been hijacked by bandits, by cultists, by criminals,’’ he said.
He, however, described the insinuation in some quarters that ”foreign machineries” were the ones causing mayhem in the South East as mere war propaganda.
According to him, some citizens from the South East are responsible for the killings, the burning down of police stations and destruction of property in the region.
The governor said the agitation for a better region by Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASOB,) Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB,) and the Eastern Security Network (ESN) were offshoots of years of neglect by previous governments.
He condemned the mayhem in the region and urged security operatives in the region to intensify efforts in checking the situation.
The governor also called on youths across the South East to aggregate their demands and present to the Governors, for onward transmission to the federal government.
On recently inaugurated security outfit in the South East, code named Ebube Agu, Umahi said the outfit was legitimate, adding that peace loving citizens of the states in the region have nothing to fear.
The governor condemned the recent burning of some offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the South-East, blaming such dastardly acts on criminals, who were wrongly brainwashed into believing that the 2023 general elections would not hold.
He said: “Some of them have been indoctrinated to believe that there will be no election in 2023 and that is very dangerous because if you say that there will be no election in your region, then the National Assembly could make an emergency law to say there will be emergency rule there and there is nothing you can do about it.
“So it is a very terrible mindset for anybody to be doing this because INEC offices have not been burnt in South-West or other parts of the country so we don’t know who is doing this but I know that they are criminals,” he said.