South East governors on Saturday urged their Northern counterparts to protect their people living in the region.
The governors made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of a security meeting held in Enugu and signed by the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Dave Umahi.
Aside Umahi, other governors at the meeting were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Willie Obiano (Anambra).
Also at the meeting were ministers, National Assembly members, traditional rulers and clerics from the region.
The South-East leaders reaffirmed their commitment to one Nigeria.
They also advocated justice, equality of rights, fairness as well as love and respect for one another.
The communique read: “Arising from the June 11, 2021 meeting with the presidential team led by Hon. Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), we agreed to a further meeting – consequent upon that, we scheduled a meeting today, for articulation of our positions and further meet with the presidential team.
“The meeting set up committees under Ohaneze to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the presidential team.
“We, the Igbos do reaffirm our commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love, and respect for one another.
“We have noted threats by some groups against our people of South-East, while we firmly promise to protect everyone either from other regions or ours, we plead with the leaders of other regions to protect our people living in their regions.
“We condemn the killing of security agencies, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South-East and other regions. We request our security agencies to please discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law.
“We request our National Assembly members from the South-East to support State Police creation in the ongoing constitutional amendment.
“We condemn in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in South-East and elsewhere, we firmly proclaim that we do not support them, they do not speak for South-East.
“The impression that South-East leaders are silent over some of our youths’ agitations for secession is not correct. South-East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leader had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations.
“In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, South-East leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears.
“Meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure that the nation Nigeria and the people of their safety in South-East.
“The meeting endorsed our South-East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in South-East and our visitors.”