OWERRI THE GUARDIAN) -- Prominent Igbo sons and daughters rose from the 2019 Igbo National Security Summit in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday and resolved to unite and defend Igbo cause.
They demanded anti-open grazing law in all the five South East states, to avoid conflicts between farmers and herders, and vehemently opposed the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) initiative proposed by the Federal Government.
‘Peace, Security and Development of Alaigbo and her Neighbours’ was the theme of the summit, which was attended by the chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, Amb. Lawrence Agubuzor; entertainment impresario, Charles Oputa (Charly Boy); former Vice Chancellor, Imo State University (IMSU), Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie; National President, Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), Chief Emeka Diwe; as well as representatives of former Niger Delta agitator, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari; Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the academia, business community and women groups among others.
Agubuzor regretted the level of insecurity in the various parts of Igboland.He appealed to the various groups in the region to desist from disparaging one another.
“We should work in the interest of Ndigbo and respect the authority and governors. House divided against itself cannot stand. If there is anytime Ndigbo need peace, it is now. Ndigbo should work and respect one another; do anything agreed to be done.
“Everybody should go to his governor and say, ‘give us anti-open grazing bill’. It is a must. Every community can defend itself. Please, our security is in our own hands.”
Oputa, who came as the president of Association of Frustrated Persons of Nigeria (AFPN), castigated the political leadership of the country.
He promised to “donate” himself to pursue and protest what he called injustice meted to Igbo people, opining that the game change should take place to bring about socio-political and economic equation in the land.
“Why do people run to other places. We should stop that and defend ourselves. Is that an impossible task? I am back. I am ready to donate myself. If we decide that Igboland is going to be good, we are going to be proud of ourselves,” he said.
An analyst at the event, Emeka Umeagbalasi, regretted that from records and statistics, between August 2015 and September 2017, 480 Igbo were killed in different parts of the country, disclosing that 95 per cent of the federal security agencies in the South East were manned by Northerners, noting that only four commissioners of police were of Igbo extraction.Dokubo-Asari urged the Igbo to unite and fight their cause.