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Insecurity: Religious leaders, monarchs slam presidency, South-East govs

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Insecurity: Religious leaders, monarchs slam presidency, South-East govs

The Joint Body of South-East Council of Traditional Rulers and Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops has expressed displeasure over the handling of insecurity in the South-East.

The religious and traditional rulers made their displeasure known in a communique obtained by The PUNCH on Monday.

According to them, the presidency failed to reply to a letter seeking dialogue as a means to end insecurity in the region.

They also faulted governors from the region for refusing to honor calls for dialogue.

The body urged the president and state Governors to grant audience as
requested.

Part of the communique read, “Confronted with the escalation of insecurity in the South-East, and concerned that the responses of those in authority were failing to stem the tide of violence, especially in the run-up to the Gubernatorial Elections in Anambra State, the Council issued a public appeal on Sunday, 30th October, 2021, for a de-escalation and suspension of the IPOB sit-at-home order. We undertook extensive behind-the-scenes consultations with all relevant stakeholders.

“In a bid to sustain the momentum gained, on November 3, 2021, the Joint Body wrote a letter to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), requesting an
audience.

“The purpose of the request was to dialogue and explore avenues for peace-building, douse the tension in the South East to ensure it does not result in grave socio-economic burden on our people. The joint Body fears that further delay or inaction on this request may have the unintended consequence of giving credence, albeit erroneously, to the belief by some groups in the region that restoring peace and stability is not the primary
goal of the Federal Government.

“In the same vein, genuine efforts made through the Chairman, South East Governors’ Forum to dialogue with South East Governors have so far also met a brick wall. Taken together, the shuttered silence gives room for suspicion and presents ominous portends if left unattended to.

“It has been three months since the letter was written and delivered to the office of the President. The Presidency has neither acknowledged receipt nor responded to the letter.

“It is puzzling that the President and the South East Governors appear to be ignoring the demonstrated value of dialogue and consensus-building in finding a lasting solution to the region’s security issues.

“As leaders who are continuously required by our burden of service to interface with the populace, the Joint Body is desirous of confirming the sincerity and commitment of the Federal Government, in particular, to finding a lasting solution to the security crisis.”

Among those who signed the communique are Chairman, Ebonyi State Trad. Rulers Council and South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Charles Mkpuma; Chairman, Anambra State Trad. Rulers Council, Obi Nnaemeka Achebe; Chairman, Enugu State Trad. Rulers Council, Igwe Agubuzu; Chairman,
Imo State Trad. Rulers Council, Eze Okeke; Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Owerri, Most Rev. Dr. Anthony Obinna;

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Others are Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Most Rev. Chibuzo Opoko;
Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke; Past Principal Clerk Presbyterian Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Uma Onwunta; Chairman, Abia State Trad. Rulers Council, Eze Joseph Nwabeke; Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Obi Onubogu; and Anglican Archbishop of Enugu, Most Rev. Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma.

SOURCE : PUNCH

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