Governors of the five states in the Southeast have told their citizens in the North not to panic, stressing that they are free to live anywhere in Nigeria.
The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, called on northern leaders to take actions that would counter the intended plot of the youths to ensure that the grim history of the past was not repeated.
He said, “We must call on all serious-minded patriots, particularly the religious leadership in Northern Nigeria; the leadership of other socio-cultural groups in Northern Nigeria; the Nigerian Governors Forum; and all the service branches to rise up with voices of peace and wisdom to counteract the mischievousness and exuberant excesses of the northern youth.
“The ugly lessons of history are too grim to be stoked with carelessness. As leaders, we must exert the full measure of our powers and influence to forestall a repetition.
“We call on all Igbo sons and daughters resident in Nothern Nigeria to go about their lawful daily activities without fear of intimidation, hindrance or molestation.”
Umahi reiterated the governors’ commitment to “the existence of a virile, united prosperous and progressive Federal Republic of Nigeria where justice, fairness, equity, mutual respect and equality of opportunity to all citizens, regardless of creed, ethnicity or gender, will reign supreme under the inflexible rule of law.”
The SEGF Chairman also denied insinuations that a meeting resolved to send buses to evacuate Igbos in the North.
“The rumours being peddled on conventional and social media platforms that we, the governors of the Southeast have met and agreed to mobilise vehicles and cash for repatriation of Ndigbo resident in Northern Nigeria must be disregarded, as they are nothing but tissues of lies.
”No amount of provocation would lead us to such precipitate and irresponsible action at this time.
“Those exploiting such vacuous tittle-tattle as a basis for divisive rhetoric in public spaces are simply playing juvenile politics and we urge them to cease and desist”, he stated.