Igbo leaders, led by the Igbo National Movement, INM, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the troops out of the Southeast region’s five states yesterday.
Regarding the number of military soldiers in the name of insecurity, the INM made this appeal in a statement to newsmen in Owerri, signed by the President, Anthony Olisa Okolo, and other leaders, Barr. Eze Eluchie, Chief Ben Okoro, Chief Peter Agba Kalu, Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka, and Onyemuche Mbachu.
“A blanket shoot-at-sight order has been given by Nigeria’s Police Chief to policemen on a special operation in the South-East region, accompanied by statements and directives that have already been put into effect with the deployment of hundreds upon hundreds of soldiers and security personnel.
“President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government should as a matter of extreme urgency embark on express efforts to demilitarize Ala-Igbo and the South East and de-escalate the state of insecurity, by ordering an immediate withdrawal of the military from the streets of South-East cities and communities in Ala-Igbo,” the Igbo group said, among other things.
“That the five South-East state governments of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States define and operationalize the indigenous security outfit, Ebube-Agu, which they had all agreed to for the region. According to him, the Ebube-Agu security outfit should intervene as soon as possible, in coordination with indigenous organizations such as the Town Unions, to rebuild a production facility.
“That Ndigbo as a people do not use harsh, violent, or unpleasant language in order to achieve our goals or demonstrate our guaranteed freedoms. As a result, they suggest that Igbo groups and their leaders do not represent the opinions of all Igbos, and that the Federal Government should not use them to characterize the disposition of the entire South-East.
“As Ndigbo are firmly committed to nonviolent and constitutional means of promoting our demand for a fair, just, and equitable country,” the Igbo leaders declared.