December 5, 2015

Ukiwe, Maitama Sule, others seek end to pro-Biafra protests

Ukiwe, Maitama Sule, others  seek end to pro-Biafra protests

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

By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Apparently disturbed by the growing wave of pro-Biafra protests across the South-east, elder statesmen, Air Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Amb. Maitama Sule have called for an immediate end to hostilities.

Ukiwe, a former Chief of General Staff‎ and Sule who chairs the Northern Elders Forum spoke Saturday in Abuja after a meeting the duo convened under the aegis of Nigerian Leaders of Thought.

They condemned the ugly incident of last Wednesday in Onitsha, Anambra state, where no fewer than nine protesters and a bystander were allegedly killed by security forces.

In a statement signed and issued by the two leaders on behalf of others who were present at the joint meeting, they ‎opined that there was an urgent need to initiate a dialogue with the aggrieved protesters, adding that it was the best option for resolving the national question.

The leaders reminded the protesters of similar unfortunate events in the nation’s history which eventually resulted in the bloody Nigerian Civil War in 1967.

The statement reads: “We, the elders and leaders of the South-east and the north are gravely concerned about the deterioration of the security situation in the country, especially the ugly incident of Wednesday, 2 December, 2015 at Onitsha which led to the loss of lives.

“We hereby strongly condemn this deterioration in national security and resort to violence in addressing national grievances. We are reminded of similar unfortunate events in our history and appeal to all concerned to put an immediate end to all public marches and protests.

“We strongly abhor the recourse to killings and damage to property anywhere they have occurred or may occur in the country. As a result, we hereby reiterate our plea that all public protests should stop immediately.

“Dialogue remains the best option for resolving all our national grievances. The meeting has therefore resolved to sustain, intensity and expand the process of dialogue to resolve perceived and existing grievances in our nation in order to ensure justice for all in Nigeria”.