-by our correspondent.
Leadership Watch a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the economic and social council of the United Nations has called on the Indegeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Governors of the South-Easten States to sheath their swords and embrace peace for the security and economic prosperity of the region.
In an Open Letter to the people of Igbo extraction on the lingering crisis following continued face-off between Governors and IPOB , the president of Leadership watch, Dr. Martins Iwuanyanwu, noted that many have flee from the region and “most of those still in the zone have fully been overtaken by fear of the unknown”.
Dr. Iwuanyanwu urged all the civil society actors, professionals and Christian leaders from the South East zone to work Leadershipwatch to save the region from total collapse through the forth coming two-day summit of the South-East Coalition of Civil Society Groups.
The full text of the letter is reproduced below:
Greetings to all of you my fellow Igbos of the South East region of Nigeria in the most precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Please permit me to use this platform to write you on the above subject matter which I have no doubt we all must consider to be a very disturbing issue in the entire zone today. Many of us appear to be unperturbed with the problem and some others are already fleeing from the zone to places they consider to be safe heaven. Most of those who are still in the zone at this moment have fully been overtaken by fear of the unknown.
We will recall that in the past eight months or thereabout there have been increasing unwholesome activities of our brothers and sisters in the Independent People of Biafra –IPoB over their desire as they claim to protect the Igboland against the invidious Fulani terrorists who have stepped up actions not just in kidnapping and raping of our girls and women generally but also to disposes the indigenous people of Nigeria of their ancestral lands as part of the Islamic agenda in Nigeria. This initiative of IPoB obviously is laudable and deserves our commendation.
However, the implementation strategy of this self defense agenda of IPoB appears to have issues with some of the Igbo leaders especially the governors who obviously tend to disagree completely with IPoB apparently for reasons of pressure from the government in Abuja and also for their respective future political ambitions. Unfortunately, the leaderships of the South East Governors Forum and indeed the Ohaneze Ndigbo have failed to manage this internal crisis properly and to bring the situation under control.
The situation is now assuming a very dangerous proportion. The economy of the region is almost completely crippled. Several of our youths have been killed by known and unknown gunmen as they say it while many others are languishing in various detention camps across Nigeria.
Leadership Watch a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the economic and social council of the United Nations had a few months ago proposed a South East Peace and Security Summit to our governors. The concept was for us to deploy our expertise and mobility to help our region explore alternate measures to exit the lingering face-off between IPoB and the key state actors as well as creatively address the insecurity in the region. And we had indeed assembled the best of security experts from the region who accepted to work with us.
Regrettably, the response of most of the governors was that they know what to do. My guess is that what they know how to do is the continued deployment of the use of military and police force against our people in a ruthless manner. I have no doubt that what is going on right now in the South East region is purely a show of power between the two warring factions. And we know that where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers for it.
We have to ask ourselves these pertinent questions. How far can we go with the sit-at-home order every Monday and any other day coupled with the inflicted fears on our people especially the young school children? We all witnessed the disruption that happened yesterday when our children were to join others to write Junior West African Examination.
Many of the school children were chased out the examinations halls and their bags burnt on fire. There is no amount of face-off that constructive dialogue cannot resolve. My conclusion in this matter right now is that pride has set in among our governors. They feel that IPoB is inconsequential and that IPoB is going to get tired soon and give up the struggle. But I bet every one of us that that may never happen. I know this fact by studies around the world. Anyone in doubt may check it out.
If the Northern leaders were sincere with the handling of Boko-Haram at the early stage of its problem and did what was necessary perhaps Nigeria wouldn’t be in this serious mess she finds herself today. There are too many willing tools among our idle youths many of whom have left University several years ago and no employment while our governors were busy looting dry their respective state treasury. How do we explain the travesty that is going on in most states in our region today and since in the name of governance and nobody can speak out for fear of assassination?
I am particularly worried about South East region not about Nigeria. I know many of us are too. But what is the way forward now? I have learnt from history that those who create problems are usually not the ones that can solve it. If our governors and IPoB have the capacity to resolve this lingering problem perhaps we won’t be where we are today. I believe that is most probably why we have mediators.
I therefore call on all the civil society actors, professionals and Christian leaders from the South East zone to get prepared to work with us in the effort to save our region from total collapse through the forth coming TWO-DAY SUMMIT OF THE SOUTH EAST COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS. Consultation is still ongoing and you can make suggestions to us via email. The date and venue will be announced soon.
God bless Ndigbo!