The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called upon the federal government to immediately disband militias and armed groups operating in Imo state and the southeastern region.
In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja, CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stressed that no group should have the authority to hold innocent people hostage.
“We urge the Federal Government to promptly dissolve all militias and armed groups in Imo and other parts of the South-East, even if it requires using force. This is to ensure that no group challenges the State’s prerogative of maintaining law and order and safeguarding the lives and properties of its citizens.”
Suleiman also called on all Northerners residing in Imo state or any troubled area in the southeast to evacuate for their safety immediately.
“We reiterate our call for Northerners living in Imo State and other unfriendly parts of the South-East to consider leaving the region to protect their lives and properties. Recent events in Imo have put their lives at risk, and we are deeply concerned about their well-being. It is safer for them to return to areas where their safety is guaranteed. While we desire national unity, not at the expense of endangering lives in certain regions.”
Additionally, CNG demanded establishing a judicial inquiry to assess the extent of property losses suffered by Northerners in the Imo attacks. Compensation should be provided to each victim accordingly.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Army Headquarters to investigate the involvement of their personnel in these heinous acts against peaceful Northerners in Imo State,” the statement added.
The Coalition emphasized that while the North supports other Nigerians, particularly the Igbo, and advocates for their fair treatment, it also expects other Nigerians to respect the nation’s laws, allowing every citizen to live and work without discrimination or harassment in any part of the country.