The Federal Government has been asked to dialogue with the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to stop the killings and violence taking place in the South East.
According to the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the only way to stop the insecurity in the region is for the government to sit down with the pro-Biafra agitators.
In a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo asked President Muhammadu Buhari to negotiate with IPOB just as his administration and his predecessors did with herdsmen and Niger Delta militants.
The group added that all South-East leaders are set to meet with the federal government to discuss the numerous challenges confronting Ndigbo and Nigeria in general, adding that dialogue is a panacea to peace.
It urged the government to stop the “jackboot approach” to the IPOB agitation, saying that the military approach would rather aggravate the precarious situation.
Ohanaeze, however, urged President Buhari to ensure that the Department of State Service (DSS) produce Kanu in court on Thursday, October 21, 2021, during his ongoing trial.
The statement reads: “Ohanaeze recalls with consternation that on May 2, 2019, a Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Interior, Abdul-Rahman Dambazau, held a meeting with national leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN), as part of steps to address the country’s security challenges. The meeting was hosted by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alh. Atiku Bagudu. In attendance was the then Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Muhammad Adamu.
“During the time of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Niger Delta was at the peak of youth restiveness and Yar’Adua opened a channel for dialogue and the matter was over. President Goodluck Jonathan, during his incumbency, had set up a committee commonly referred to as the Presidential Committee on Dialogue with Boko Haram, an initiative which has been sustained by President Buhari administration. As at today, Governors in the North have openly demonstrated their desire for dialogue with dreaded groups terrorizing their regions; the videos clips abound.
“Based on the foregoing, the Ohanaeze structures, including the Council of Elders, Council of Traditional Rulers, the Igbo Governors, Igbo NASS members, government officials, Archbishops and the Clergy, stakeholders, youth and women wings, town union, etc are ready for a meaningful dialogue with the federal government of Nigeria on a plethora of challenges facing the Igbo nation and Nigeria. Our core objective is a sense of belonging in a country anchored on equity, justice and fairness.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide enunciates that the guardrail of democracy is anchored on toleration, forbearance and dialogue. Good governance is merely an outcome based on the application of democratic norms and values. And not until the right thing is done and seen to have been done, Nigeria will most likely continue in its downward spiral.
“While calling on President Buhari to “ensure that our son, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is produced in court on Thursday, October 21, 2021, it is necessary to prove to the global community that Nnamdi Kanu is not only hale and hearty but that shady judicial process is not contemplated while on trial.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide reiterated its call on the presidency to consider dialogue as a panacea to peace; insisting that the jackboot approach to the IPOB uprising would rather aggravate the precarious situation.
“Military and violent means to solve the national question are bound to fail as it leads to further national division, anarchy and eventual or inevitable disintegration, as in all empires or multinational states or countries.”