We’re Committed to One Nigeria, Say S’East Leaders

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Dave Umahi

• Suggest strategy to flush out killer herdsmen

•Ask the president to look into region’s demands

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The leaders of the Southeast geo-political zone yesterday pledged their commitment to an indivisible and united Nigeria built on love, fairness, equity and justice.

The leaders, also, proposed a joint security operation, which according to them, would flush out criminals and killer herdsmen from the forests in the geo-political zone.

They expressed this resolve in a communique issued at the end of the meeting with a presidential delegation to the region in Enugu yesterday.

The delegation, which was led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, comprises the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, all the ministers from the region.

In the communique read by Ebonyi State Governor, Mr. Dave Umahi after the meeting, the Southeast leaders requested President Muhammad Buhari “to please look into the demands of the various groups of our people, review same with a view to solving them.

The communique said the Southeast people “believe in one Nigeria and this is the reason we are in every part of this country erecting infrastructures, living peacefully with our host communities and doing our businesses.”

The leaders suggested a joint security operation into the forests of the region “to flush out criminals and killer herdsmen with Ak47, while pledging our commitment to continuous coexistence with the herdsmen who have been living peacefully with us for years.”

They thanked the president for the “speed and the restraint with which he handled the demand of peaceful EndSars protesters, especially his commitment to drive police reform and mainstream youth empowerment.”

They also hailed the president for his courage to deal with hoodlums, criminals and those who hijacked the peaceful protest to kill and maim innocent citizens and security agents and to loot public and private property.

“Southeast governors have set up panels of enquiry to deal with all infractions of human rights of our people and security agencies, compensation funds for all civil servants and security men who lost their lives during the protests.

“We pledge to continue to protect all the various groups living in the Southeast. We enjoin them to go about their businesses peacefully.

“We thank Mr President, governors and traditional rulers in other parts of Nigeria for their commitment to protect our people, especially during and after the protests. We must continue to live in peace.

“We appreciate Buhari’s delegation for carefully listening to, engaging with stakeholders and undertaking to report faithfully to Mr President for his consideration and necessary action.”

They commended Buhari for the “speed and the restraint with which he handled the demand of peaceful EndSARS protesters, especially his commitment to drive police reform and mainstream youth empowerment.

They, also, commended his courage to deal with hoodlums, criminals and those who hijacked the initial protests to hide under the peaceful protest and kill, maim innocent citizens, security agents and public and private properties.”