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Igbo youths ask IPOB to review lockdown threat in Southeast

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Igbo youths have asked the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to review its latest threat to lock down the Southeast region over Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s travail from August 9, saying that such directive could be counter-productive, given the current harsh economic realities facing Ndigbo and the entire nation.

They stated that what Alaigbo needed at this time was any drive or agenda that could accelerate growth and development of the region above others than anything that might escalate tension in the zone.

The Igbo youths, under the aegis of Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), said that shutting down the region and its economic activities over Kanu’s travail would do no good to anybody other than plunge the zone into more hardships.

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The group, in a statement by its President General, Goodluck Ibem and National Secretary, Kanice Igwe, said: “While COSEYL understands that right to self-determination is a property of the late 1940s Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which every human group is entitled, and to which Nigeria is a signatory together with other instruments of international law like the African Human and Peoples Rights (Banjul Declaration of 1981), the Coalition does not see economic wisdom in shutting down business and work-related activities on Mondays beginning from August 9, 2021 – which the group has labeled “Ghost Mondays” – as virtually over half the population of Southeast and by extension Ndigbo depend on daily income to feed their families and dependent ones.

“COSEYL urges the group to, in the interest of the Southeast region, review its latest policy directive given the current harsh economic realities biting hard on not only Ndigbo but the entire nation at such an excruciating moment. Shutting down the region and economic activities thereof does nobody or group any good and is therefore not a win-win case at a time like this.

“While COSEYL is in support of the release of Nnamdi Kanu from the Department of State Services (DSS) custody to allow him enjoy his rights and face his trial, it condemns the way Mazi Kanu was smuggled into Nigeria from Kenya against international laws and conventions. COSEYL calls on IPOB not to allow its activities to jeopardise the region in which case the goal of the group would amount to an own goal.”

The Igbo group further said that the declaration by the IPOB was already unsettling the Southeast zone, saying: “We have observed a heavy deployment of security personnel to the Southeast region. As a group with records and documentations of all the happenings in the region since the activities of the so-called unknown gunmen, COSEYL is aware of forced disappearance and killings of some innocent youths of the region in places like Orlu, Owerri and elsewhere. As a youth group, we are against any initiative that endangers further the youthful population of Southeast.”

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