The Igboezue International Association Nigeria and the Diaspora (IIAND) have called upon the South East Governors to prioritize the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), as a crucial step towards achieving peace and meaningful security in the region. Speaking on behalf of the group, National President Chief Pius Okoye expressed deep concern over the ongoing insecurity crisis in the South East Geopolitical Zone.
Chief Okoye highlighted the need for certain South East Governors to reconsider their actions, utterances, and political manoeuvres in Abuja, which, he believes, have exacerbated the crisis. He urged them to redirect their efforts towards promoting unity and security within their states and the entire South East region.
The IIAND also stressed the importance of involving Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in the upcoming South East Security and Economic Summit in Owerri, Imo State. They emphasized the necessity of not only including Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the summit but also ensuring that their suggestions and recommendations are taken seriously and implemented.
Furthermore, IIAND drew attention to the alleged mistreatment of individuals at military and police checkpoints throughout the South East states. They asserted that the behaviour of security personnel towards motorists and commuters in the region differs significantly from that in other parts of the country. The IIAND called for an end to the dehumanizing practice of forcing travellers to disembark from their vehicles at checkpoints.
Chief Okoye also raised concerns about false accusations labelling individuals as IPOB members or commanders, leading to their unjustified harassment, injury, or death. IIAND called for a thorough investigation of such allegations and for those found guilty to be brought to justice through the legal system rather than extrajudicial means.
In conclusion, IIAND emphasized that prioritizing the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and addressing the concerns raised at the summit are essential steps in achieving lasting peace, security, and socio-economic development in the South East region. The organization called on South East Governors and stakeholders to work together to address these critical issues and ensure a brighter future for the region.
According to IIAND, “For South East Governors and other participants, particularly Ohaneze Nsigbo, to achieve meaningful peace, security, political, social and economic development in the South East Security and Economic Summit, coming up on Friday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, they must make the release of long incarcerate IPoB’s leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, top on their agenda. Anything short of that will not ensure peace and security in the South East.
“It is good that the summit is going to hold in Imo State, which seems to be the worst hit by the insecurity; this is also going to be an opportunity to call some South East Governor to order; they should look themselves on their faces and tell themselves the truth because some are not behaving well, some feel that constant visit to Abuja and making provocative utterances against the people of their states and the youths is what makes them loyal to the powers that be in Abuja. The Governors who engage in the act knows themselves, and they should change.
“The summit should ensure that the Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo is not only carried along in the meeting but should ensure that their views and suggestions are carried and implemented to the letters. Ohanaeze Ndigbo has done well under Chief Iwuanyanwu; the Igbo dignity and lost pride are gradually being returned because of some steps they have taken, just like we are doing in IIAND.
“We will also like the summit to look into several complaints we have received concerning the molestation of Igbo sons and daughters at the military and Police checkpoints across South East state. That must stop. The idea of making commuters alight from the vehicles they are travelling in to cross Police, Army, and Navy checkpoints is dehumanizing, unacceptable and must stop.
“We have also received the reports that many South East sons and daughters have been killed just because they were labelled IPoB Commanders and members, this must stop, and the people responsible for this criminal act of labelling opponents IPoB members and commanders just to kill them must refrain from this callous and criminal behaviour.
“We gathered that the act of accusation or labelling opponents in dispute IPoB Commander and member through writing petitions or oral complaints to Police, Army and Department of States Services, DSS, officials is the easiest way to elimination opponents in disputes in South East, the summit must take seriously this allegation and ensure that such families that have been victims of this malicious allegations gets justice for their now dead loved ones.
“While not blaming the security agents for such false allegations given to them, we advise that when such allegations are made through oral or written complaints or petitions, professionalism demands that they are investigated and if such people are found to have broken the law of the land, they should be taken to court instead of killing or torturing them to death. Such complaints have been brought to our table by relations of the victims; the summit must look into it. is very serious matter now.”