Uzodimma wants seccession calls dropped
• Tasks Security Agencies To Name Politicians Funding Banditry, Others
• Ndigbo Deserve An Apology Over Civil War Pogrom, Says Ikpeazu
• Urges IPOB To Exercise Restraint
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, yesterday, thumbed down separatist movements in some parts of the country, calling on those trumpeting messages of cessation from Nigeria to jettison the idea.
He said he would not support cessation in any form, but disposed to a more united indivisible Nigeria, no matter the current circumstances prevailing against the country.
In another development, his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, said the Southeast geo-political zone deserves an unreserved apology over the monumental destruction of lives and property during the Nigerian civil war, saying such would calm frayed nerves among the citizenry in that part of the country.
Ikpeazu blamed the marginalisation of the zone for the violent activities of the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), but frowned at the activities of cultists, urging IPOB members who were alleged to be masterminds of the recent attacks on Police stations and correctional centres to embrace dialogue as a means of addressing their grievances.
Addressing journalists after his meeting President Mohammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Uzodimma noted that Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity, especially as the country continues to play a leading role on the continent.
Responding to the myriad of sectional and ethnic crisis dotting some parts of the country, he said notwithstanding the odds, an attempt to go separate ways would whittle down the country’s strength, adding: “I don’t think I will support any call for cessation; I want a united, strong Nigeria.”
The governor said Nigerians should be more concerned with the issues of job creations and infrastructure development, among others, rather than dwelling on inane issues.
Speaking during a studio visit to TOS TV Network in Abuja, Ikpeazu wondered: “Who is going to tell us what happened during the civil war? Who did what and why? Why can’t some people come and tell us, ‘we are very sorry for what we did?’ You can’t sweep certain things under the carpet.
“The tension is palpable and this is the time for us to open up as those who love the country. I speak this way because I spent seven years in the University of Maiduguri. I have gone through all parts of northern Nigeria and I understand this country.
“I feel sad that the strings that holds us together are gradually giving way. You are bottling up people. If you have too many atoms in an enclosure and you apply pressure, you are creating a bomb.”
That is exactly what is happening. We have become very agitated as a people. We have to call a spade a spade, no matter whose ox is gored.
“Some of the issues raised by Nnamdi (Kanu) were issues of injustice, marginalisation and inequality, whether it is gender, generational or whatever. Any particular arm of society excluded in any way has a right to feel cheated or unwanted.”
Ikpeazu noted that some of the things the IPOB leader says are valid, adding: “Some of us can see it; we cannot continue to run away from the facts. But some of us do not agree with his style, because I do not understand where he is going, when he intends to pull the brakes and when it is going to stop.
“If I have a way of conveying my view to the leadership of the group, what I will say is that they should find the way to enter into conversation and let people know.”
I don’t understand their strategy and purpose. I don’t understand why they are attacking institutions of civil rule. A lot of people who are apologetic to some of these strategies don’t even know they are riding the tiger’s tail.
“If the Police and military withdraw and then brigands become enforcers of the law and order, if you have a quarrel with your brother, how do you resolve it? Our national orientation should be willing to say sorry. No person can be right 100 per cent all the days of his life. Even in dealing with our children, if we do things that are not right, we should have the courage to stoop low and say sorry. But to create an utopian aura that all is well is either nothing is wrong or I have done it, what can you do?”
The governor said it behoves on the authorities to lay emphasis on intelligence gathering, as against the use of arms, to tackle the myriad of security challenges bedeviling the country.
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