Press Statement By The Chairman Of The South East Governors Forum, His Excellency, Engr. David Nweze Umahi, In Respect Of The Threat To Ndi Igbo By Arewa Youth
2. Typical of our preferred modus operandi, we have carefully considered the contents of the highly provocative statement and reflected on its implications for Nd’Igbo specifically, and for the status of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a viable and sovereign nation generally.
4. The South East Governors Forum has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to and preference for the existence of a virile, united, prosperous and progressive Federal Republic of Nigeria where justice, fairness, equity, mutual respect and equality of opportunity to all citizens regardless of creed, ethnicity or gender will reign supreme under the inflexible rule of law. We have had occasion recently to take this position publicly in response to the agitative but peaceful actions of some Igbo youth. We will continue to take a similar stance in response to any action that might threaten the cohesiveness of this nation or designed to cause its rupture.
5. The lives and property of law-abiding citizens of Igbo extraction are as precious as the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of the region of their abode within this Republic. These must be guaranteed and defended against all forms of threat and aggression, both domestic and external, by the security forces/agencies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We the Governors of the South East are collaborating effectively with the security agencies to ensure that no harm of any description is visited upon any law-abiding Nigerian citizen resident in the South East of Nigeria, including those from the North of Nigeria.
6. We must call on all serious minded patriots, particularly the religious leadership in Northern Nigeria; the leadership of other socio-cultural groups in Northern Nigeria apart from the aforementioned; the Nigerian Governors Forum; and all the service branches to rise up with voices of peace and wisdom to counteract the mischievousness and exuberant excesses of the northern youth. The ugly lessons of history are too grim to be stoked with carelessness. As leaders, we must exert the full measure of our powers and influence to forestall a repetition.
8. The rumours being peddled on conventional and social media platforms that we, the Governors of the South East, have met and agreed to mobilize vehicles and cash for the repatriation of Nd’Igbo resident in northern Nigeria must be disregarded, as they are nothing but tissues of lies. No amount of provocation would lead us to such a precipitate and irresponsible action at this time. Those exploiting such vacuous tittle-tattle as a basis for divisive rhetoric in public spaces are simply playing juvenile politics and we urge them to cease and desist.
9. Long live Ndi Igbo! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Engr. David Nweze Umahi
Governor of Ebonyi State and
Chairman of South East Governors Forum