By Yusuf Adua, Imo
The governors from the South-eastern part of Nigeria look set to hold talks with IPOB, going by the positions adopted by the governors and other leaders of the region during and after their meeting in Enugu held yesterday.
We would recall that the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB is a pro-Biafra group which has been proscribed by the federal government of Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State as telling reporters that the leaders from the region had set up a committee to engage the “agitators” in the region to address their fears.
Though News Live Nigeria cannot confirm that Mr Umahi specifically mentioned IPOB by name when he spoke with reporters, the Governor rightly said that they were ready to dialogue with some aggrieved easterners.
News Live Nigeria understands that the governor may have very well referred to the group when he said “agitators”, as IPOB is the main and stout group agitating for the independent state of Biafra, as things stand.
This development in a way means that the southeast governors have shifted ground from their previous hardline posture against IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Although Mr Umahi said secessionist groups from the region were not speaking for the people of the area, he made some remarks that seemed like the kind of thing IPOB and their supporters would like to hear.
The governor, for instance, said governors and other leaders of the region condemned the extrajudicial killings of civilians in the region by security agencies.
He also restated that although they remain committed to Nigeria’s corporate existence, such union must be based on love, mutual respect and equality of rights, irrespective of one’s religion, ethnic group, political inclination and creed.
The governor said that leaders from the region had noted with concern threats against the Igbo people by some groups in other regions.
“The meeting pleaded with leaders of other regions to note such threats to our people, address it and protect our people,” he said.
Those present at the Saturday’s meeting included Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu.
Anambra and Imo States were represented by the deputy governors, Nkem Okeke and Placid Njoku respectively.
Others were the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, George Obiozo.
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