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BIAFRA: Igbo leaders want end to street protests

*Lament politics of exclusion
*Demand true federalism

BY CHARLES KUMOLU

NO fewer than 60 prominent Igbo leaders met yesterday in Lagos where they called for an end to the ongoing pro-Biafra street protests in Nigeria.

The Indigenous People of Biafra on a Peaceful Protest over the Arrest of the Director of Radio Biafra yesterday along Ikwerre road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke
The Indigenous People of Biafra on a Peaceful Protest over the Arrest of the Director of Radio Biafra, along Ikwerre road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

The eminent persons, who met under the auspices of Concerned Igbo Elders, Traditional Rulers and Stakeholders cautioned against exporting the protests.

At the event which was attended by serving and former public office holders, academicians, traditional rulers and the clergy, the assumption that the outrage was provoked by the poor state of infrastructure in the South-East geopolitical zone was unanimously dismissed.

The leaders noted that the alleged exclusion of the zone in the sharing of key political offices, informed the protests.

Those at the event included the Deputy Senate President; Sen Ike Ekweremadu, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, retd, Mr. Peter Obi, Prof Ben Nwabueze, SAN, Prof A.B.C Nwosu, Chief Joe Irukwu, SAN, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Sonni Ogbuju, Sen Ben Obi, Prof George Obiozor, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, and Elder Uma Eleazu.

Others were Osita Ogbu, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Chief C.C Ifeanyi, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Chief Charles Odunukwe, Eze C.I. Ilomuanya, Eze Gibson Nwosu, Igwe Chris Onyekwuluije, Chief Dr. E. A Ukpabi, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, Chief C.C Ifeanyi, Chief Christopher Eze, Chief Charles Odunukwe and leaders of various market associations in Lagos among others.

A communique issued at the forum reads: “This meeting was convened at the instance of the Deputy Senate President, Sen Ike Ekweremadu. The meeting was of the view that Ndigbo are dissatisfied with their current position in Nigeria. The meeting noted that Nigeria is a negotiated federation of three regions in 1960. And our fore fathers played a major role in bringing it to be.

“Ndigbo have reviewed the ongoing street and public protests by the youths calling for Biafra and are of the considered opinion that these are outward expressions of the psychological and physical pain arising from the current exclusion of the South East geo-political zone from the governance of the country and this should be addressed and redressed.

“Consequently, Ndigbo strongly recommend that dialogue be embraced in order to remedy the situation. All public protests should be stopped. And more importantly the public protests should not be exported. Ndigbo are deeply saddened by the loss of lives arising from the protest. Enough Igbo blood has been spilled in Nigeria.’’

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