South-East NASS Caucus Attributes Spate Of Violence In Region To Marginalisation

*Give IGP marching orders to fish out unknown gunmen

Federal lawmakers from the South-East zone have attributed the spate of violence in the region to what they called “the vexed issues of injustice, inequity and obvious marginalisation of the South East in the governance structure.”

In a statement issued under the aegis of the South-East Caucus of the NASS and signed by certain lawmakers from the zone, they called on the Federal Government to give citizens of the South-East a genuine sense of belonging in the country.

The lawmakers, however, deplored the recourse to killings, burning of public buildings, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission offices and Police stations as means of ventilating genuine grievances.

The South-East Caucus of the NASS equally pleaded with security agencies to exercise restraint in the discharge of their constitutionally assigned duties to restore peace and safeguard lives

The statement read in part: “We, the South-East Caucus of the NASS, as leaders and major stakeholders in the region, have observed with surprise the sudden spike in violence in the region known for its calm, love and peaceful disposition to visitors irrespective of tribe and religion.

“We have had cause always to deploy the instrumentalities of the institution of state to alert the government of Nigeria about some of the vexed issues of injustice, inequity and obvious marginalisation of the South East in the governance structure. Nonetheless, we have not lost hope that the authorities will eventually do the right thing for the continued peaceful coexistence of all people in a united Nigeria.

“However, we are worried over recent developments in the South-East, which has thrown the zone into violence and confusion.

“Igbos are not known to kill or waste lives. Igbos are not known for this unfortunate violent disposition, no matter the provocation.

“We note the increasing agitation for restructuring of Nigeria and increasing separatist agitations across the country due to perceived and real issues of marginalisation. On these issues, we, the leaders across-board, have consistently cautioned that such agitations must be strictly in accordance with the laws of Nigeria and must be peaceful and devoid of violence.

“The Southeast Caucus of NASS commiserates with all who have lost loved ones, friends and colleagues in these unfortunate incidents and trust that our great country is resilient enough to weather and survive the current challenges confronting it.

“We, therefore, condemn in its totality the attack on the security personnel and their formations, particularly on the police, INEC, courts and correctional facilities. It is unacceptable and must never for whatever reason be condoned.

“We urge the Inspector General of Police to dig deep in his investigations to unravel the actual identities of these unknown gunmen determined to create a state of anarchy in the South-East.

“The investigation has become necessary in the circumstance because of the magnitude of the attacks. More so as the region had not witnessed such in the past.

“We advise the security agencies to continue to show restraint in the discharge of its mission to restore peace in the Southeast. Security operatives must remember, at all times, that the majority of Igbos are opposed to any form of violence in furtherance of any cause.”

Amongst those who signed the statement included, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; former Ebonyi State governor and Senator representing Ebonyi North, Sam Egwu and his counterpart from Imo State, Frank Ibezim.

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