Igbo traditional rulers, clerics accuses FG’ of neglecting insecurity in South East | NN NEWS

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The South East Council of Traditional Rulers and Igbo Archbishops and Bishops have condemned the laissez-faire attitude of the president in confronting the security situation in the South East region of the country.

A statement by the joint body on Monday made available to Daily Sun said that it was bringing to members of the public an up-to-date report on its activities to restore the peace, security and robust enterprise for which the South East is known.

The statement was jointly signed by the Chairman, Ebonyi State Traditional Rulers Council and Chairman, South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Charles Mkpuma alongside five other traditional rulers representing the five southeastern states, as well as the Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Dr Anthony JV Obinna, and four other clerics. It noted that the seeming silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over a letter written to him since October last year by the joint body seeking an audience with him was being misconstrued in some quarters to mean that restoring peace and stability is not the primary goal of the Federal Government.

The purpose of the request, according to the first class chiefs and highly revered clerics, was to dialogue and explore avenues for peace-building, and douse the tension in the South East to ensure it does not result in a grave socio-economic burden on the people.

The joint body noted that its efforts to bring about lasting peace in the region as evidenced by its intervention during the run-up to the Anambra gubernatorial election in November last year informed its quest to meet with the President to continue to dialogue along that line but lamented that ever since the letter was sent to the President, no acknowledgement or response has been received; a development it said is being construed to confirm the belief in some quarters that the Federal Government was not interested in restoring peace and stability in the South East region.

‘The response to the appeal by political actors in committing to a peaceful election, as well as by IPOB in cancelling its seven-day sit-at-home order, paved the way for the peaceful governorship election in Anambra State. The Joint Body wishes to thank all stakeholders for the respect accorded to it in this regard.

‘In a bid to sustain the momentum gained, on November 3, 2021, the Joint Body wrote a letter to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), requesting an audience.

‘The purpose of the request was to dialogue and explore avenues for peace-building, douse the tension in the South East to ensure it does not result in a grave socio-economic burden on our people. The joint Body fears that further delay or inaction on this request may have the unintended consequence of giving credence, albeit erroneously, to the belief by some groups in the region that restoring peace and stability is not the primary goal of the Federal Government.

‘It has been three months since the letter was written and delivered to the office of the President. The Presidency has neither acknowledged receipt nor responded to the letter,” the statement noted.
The Joint Body wondered why the President and the South East Governors appeared to be ignoring the demonstrated value of dialogue and consensus-building in finding a lasting solution to the region’s security issues, saying, “As leaders who are continuously required by our burden of service to interface with the populace, the Joint Body is desirous of confirming the sincerity and commitment of the Federal Government, in particular, to find a lasting solution to the security crisis.

‘In anticipation of an audience with the Federal and State Governments, however, the Joint Body has continued fastidiously with its engagement with stakeholders across the dimensions of the conflict and ensuing insecurity, a rigorous fact-finding and data-gathering exercises, and bridge-building through dialogue and moral suasion.’

However, the Joint Body called on the president and state governors to grant an audience as requested so that all hands could be on deck to restore peace and security in the region while improving the welfare of its citizenry.

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