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Ohanaeze urges ceasefire, unconditional release of detainees

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Ahead of the May 30 Biafra Day celebration, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has urged Biafra agitators to avoid engaging in any form of clash with security operatives.

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, yesterday, urged the pro-Biafra groups to avoid “any form of parade, display of Biafra flags/rallies and solidarity protests on May 30 and 31, 2021 Biafra Day.”

While calling for a six-month ceasefire deal on the side of the agitators and the government, he demanded unconditional release of all detainees.

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“IPOB of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, Biafra National Council of Asari Dokubo, MASSOB of Uchenna Madu, BIM of Ralph Uwazuruike and Biafra-Zionists of Ben Onwuka and others are all our children we acquit of all arms struggles and urge them to desist from activities capable of militarisation of South-East and Niger Delta.

“It’s our commitment to enforce on all the agitators self-discipline, mutual understanding and strict adherence to the tenets of non-violent agitations and universally accepted norms of self-determination,” he said.

Isiguzoro added that “Ndigbo will continue to identify with them until there is total restructuring of the country and end to marginalisation of South-East Nigeria by the Federal Government.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo asks all Biafra agitators to go along with the request of South-East governors led by Governor David Umah for a grace of six months to negotiate with the Federal Government on end to marginalisation of South-East.

‘We are also imploring the South-East governors to use the window of June 12 Democracy Day to release all Biafra agitators in all the Correction Service Centres through “State Pardon,” especially in Imo State, where the state government announced the random arrest of innocent people, mainly youths.”

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“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to interact with South-East governors on the best approach to handle the insecurity challenges in southeastern Nigeria as guns, helicopters, gunships and ammunition will not end secessionist campaigns. Carrot and stick approach remain the best way to make peace with the agitators.

“The Federal Government should also rescind the shoot-on- sight order, just as we urge the South-East governors to plead with the Federal Government for the withdrawal of military from the South-East.

“All activities of arms struggle, attacks on police formations and INEC offices in southeastern Nigeria must end, as most police officers killed in these dreadful assaults are Igbo, and it must end quickly.

“Police and military special operations in the South-East must respect human rights and put human face to de-escalate the chaos and violence in the South-East,” Ohanaeze further stated.

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