Traditional, religious leaders urge IPOB not to disrupt Anambra guber poll
• Women group laments killings, seeks end to menace
The South-East Council of Traditional Rulers and representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops, at the weekend, urged the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) not to disrupt November 6 Anambra governorship election and “cancel the scheduled sit-at-home orders, as these have already caused untold hardship for the people.”
They also urged all the candidates of the political parties to eschew violence and commit to a free, fair and credible election.
While calling on the Federal Government to consider political solutions to the security crisis rocking the region and release IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to them, the Igbo leaders promised to seek audience with President Muhammadu Buhari on how to find lasting solutions to the crisis and ensure peace in the region.
The Igbo leaders, in a statement, expressed concern about high level of insecurity and socio-economic disruption in the South-East, which they noted, had “deepened the hardship being faced by the citizens and rendered prostrate the socio-political and economic lives of our people.”
While urging the Federal Government to de-proscribe IPOB, the leaders said only dialogue could solve the crisis.
“We urge the Federal Government and other stakeholders to explore dialogue and negotiation in resolving critical issues that threaten national unity, cohesion and development.
“We are of the firm belief that this act of courage and statesmanship is not only imperative but will speedily de-escalate the heightened state of insecurity and dislocation in the South-East zone,” the leaders stated.
The Igbo leaders, which also called on the Federal Government to demilitarise the South-East, further said: “The heightened inequality and marginalisation remain at the core of youths’ restiveness in the region. We urge the apex national leadership to note that until it takes deliberate steps to run government on the basis of fairness, equity, justice and non-discrimination, this restiveness is likely to continue.
“On our part, we assure our youths that we have heard their cries of marginalisation, injustice and long suffering. As concerned parents, we feel your pain. However, we urge you to de-escalate the tension and remain law-abiding to enable us engage, especially the Federal Government, in finding a lasting solution to the crises.
MEANWHILE, a group, under the umbrella of Coalition of Anambra Women, has raised the alarm over the rising waves of crimes, especially killings of people across the state.
The women group also appealed to security agencies to address the issue of killings in view of the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Convener of the group, Ify Unachukwu, who spoke at a prayer rally, “Walk Against Violence,” in Awka, yesterday, said the group decided to go spiritual in view of the potency of prayer.
ALSO, the State Co-ordinator, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mrs. Nkechi Ugwuanyi, said the vision of the group was to ensure that all forms of violence hindering women participation in politics are reduced to the barest minimum.
Ugwuanyi said the one-day prayer rally was to seek God’s intervention towards ending the violence so that residents would be free to exercise their franchise.