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By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri

The Igbo National Movement, INM yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to order the release of innocent Igbos arrested by security forces.

INM spoke in Owerri, through the President, Anthony Olisa Okolo, alongside other leaders, Anthony Olisa Okolo Esq-President-Worldwide Vice President, Nze Ugo-Akpe Onwuka, Secretary, Onyemuche Mbachu,
Chief Peter Agba, Kalu-Okoro Chinedum Benedict and Barr. Eze Eluchie.

They said that they were worried that while Boko Haram terrorists were rehabilitated and taken care of, but the Igbo agitators especially the innocent ones were arrested without a justifiable reason.

They also called on Buhari, to adopt dialogue and open a channel of communication to solve the issues surrounding the agitations.

According to INM, among other things said: “We therefore demand the immediate release of innocent Igbos arrested by the security forces in this period of chaos. Their only crime is being Igbo in Igbo land.

“We have noted that there are other parts of the Federation which for over 10 years, have been engulfed in terror attacks, against all citizens, regardless of ethnic nationality, and including Ndigbo, which have neither been met with the same show of force, as that experienced in the South-East, nor has the rhetoric from government been as incendiary.

“We note that the extra judicial killings carried out in the South-East, are happening in the same country where confessed Boko Haram terrorists are being granted pardons and rehabilitated with federal funds — the commonwealth of all Nigerians.

“We conclude therefore, that it seems the life an Igbo man may be considered by some to be cheaper than the lives of other nationals. It is as if the government of Nigeria wishes to repent of its “No Victor, No Vanquished” motto and now wishes to wage a new war against Ndigbo, along the terms of that which was said to have ended more than 50 years ago.

“As the Presidency knows from its experience in the North-East, North-West and the Niger Delta, civil agitations cannot be defeated with force of arms. Dialogue and the opening of a sincere channel of communication are necessary means to quell such issues. Just as the Presidency has employed similar measures in these aforementioned areas. We therefore urge the government to employ diplomacy to resolve the issues the agitators are raising and eschew the use of force as a method of first resort.”

“It is public knowledge that from the North to South and from the East to West of the Federation, there are justifiable reasons for the various agitations for self-determination by diverse ethnic nationals within the Federation. We therefore urge the Federal Government to respond to the agitations with fraternal considerations rather than the illegal use of force,”INM said.

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