The South East governors on Friday came down hard on the Indeginous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), proscribing all activities of the group in the region.
The South East Governors Forum placed the ban after their emergency meeting with the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar; Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo; and Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, held at the Enugu Government House, to review the security situation in the region.
The South East Governors’ Forum Chairman and governor of Ebonyi State, Chuef Dave Umahi, who read the communique after the meeting, said everyone invited to the crucial meeting attended except the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, who he said sent in his apologies.
Kanu led by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, had met with the governors in Enugu in the penultimate week after which yesterday’s parley was scheduled but which the IPOB leader gave indication to shun on Thursday.
The governors, therefore, advised all aggrieved groups in the region to articulate their positions on all national issues and submit them to the committee of governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from the region through the chairman of the forum.
The governors also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military currently on Operation Python Dance in the South East and allow the police to perform their role of maintaining law and order.
The governors also disclosed that they have taken concrete steps to protect the lives and property of non-indigenes in the South East in the face of the current tension in the zone.
“We are in touch with the Northern Governors Forum, they have assured us of the safety of all our people living in the North and we have also planned for exchange of visits between the governors and to re-enforce the confidence of Nigerians in this respect.
“In keeping with our earlier position, we wish to assure Nigerians that full investigation is ongoing on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the South East zone within this period. The governors and the security agencies are in agreement that appropriate action will be taken against anyone found culpable,” they said.
The governors also voted for one Nigeria, insisting on restructuring.
“South East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members do hereby reinforce their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.
“We also reinforce our desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian, ” the forum said.
They also reiterated their earlier position that the November 18 Anambra governorship election must hold as scheduled.
Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu ((Abia), Willie Obiano ((Anambra), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi ) attended the meeting while Imo Deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere represented Governor Rochas Okorocha.