South-east Govs Read Riot Act to Looters, Arsonists

0

By Christopher Isiguzo and Gideon Arinze in Enugu

Governors of the South-east yesterday warned that they would no longer condone further destruction of public and private property by youths in the region.

The governors who rose from a seven-hour closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu, said anybody still hiding under the recent #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens in the zone will have himself to blame henceforth.

The governors also promised to set up a fund in order to assist victims of the EndSARS protests, including the police, army and other security agencies.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and governor of Ebonyi State, Mr. Dave Umahi, said that the forum was ready to address the concerns of the young people.

He said the forum, in addition to engaging the federal government and their colleagues in addressing the issues, will also engage youths to ensure a sustainable peace in the zone and a glorious future for the children.

According to him, “the forum sympathises with families of the victims, including the police and other security agencies and those who lost loved ones as a result of the protest”.

He said the forum also directs Igbos, both in and outside Nigeria to go about their businesses and not participate in unlawful protests.

“The state governors are committed to addressing the concerns of our young people that are peculiar to various states and will engage the federal government and their colleagues in other states to address the other issues that are national”.

The SEGF chairman disclosed that “each state in the South East zone will set up a fund to assist the victims of the crisis, including the Police, the Army and other security agencies as well as civilians”.

The South-east leaders advised the youths that “while our governors are working hard to meet their demands, the destruction of public and private property and killing of security agents and civilians will never be allowed to continue”.

While offering to protect all ethnic groups living in the South-east, the leaders thanked other parts of Nigeria for protecting Igbos in their areas too.

“We, therefore, direct all Igbos, both in and outside Nigeria, to go about their businesses and should not participate in any form of unlawful protest and criminality,” they said.

The meeting had in attendance governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, while the governors of Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano and Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma were represented by their deputies, Dr. Nkem Okeke and Prof. Placid Njoku, respectively.

Others present at the meeting include: Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazo, Senator representing Anambra Central at the Senate, Senator Uche Ekwunife, former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu; Chairman South-east Traditional Rulers Forum and the Traditional Ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; President of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo; former governor of old Anambra State Governor, Chief Jim Nwobodo; Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, among others.