The South East Council of Traditional Rulers and Representative of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops have expressed concern about the heightened insecurity and political crisis in Imo State.
The Igbo leaders also resolved to intervene and meet with Imo Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma; the former governorship candidates and elders of the state to find ways to tackle the insecurity and political crisis rocking the state.
The council made their position known in a statement jointly signed by their representatives, HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe (Obi of Onitsha), and His Grace, Archbishop Chibuzo Opoko (Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia) on Tuesday.
The positions were coming on the heels of the recent invasion of St Peter’s Anglican Church Eziama Obire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of the state wherein the son-in-law and Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate in the 2019 general election in the state, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu was caused by police of sponsoring the worsening security problems rocking the state.
However, the group regretted that the ugly scenario has brought to the public consciousness, the long-running troubling state of affairs in the state, which they also lamented has led to the loss of many lives, hundreds of millions of naira of property, and a deterioration of the environment for business, and as well debilitating poisoning of public culture and trust.
According to them, “even as we write this statement, a report is breaking of an exchange of gunfire between unknown gunmen and law enforcement officers, which may have left several people dead.
“The tensions, violence and failing law and order situation has resulted in a significant number of deaths, including those of Traditional rulers, a considerable number of missing persons, and the abduction of scores of youth presumably by law enforcement and mom state actors. Many attribute this to the prevailing political differences in the state. These arrested and kidnapped young men are said to be held in concentration camp conditions”.
Continuing, the Igbo leaders pointed out that the state of affairs in Imo is largely blamed on a few politicians of the state and their cohorts which have constituted an assault on the dignity and well being of the people of Imo and the Igbo nation.
The leaders also urged all the political leaders in contestations and their followers to cease and desist from all actions that will escalate or compound the situation in the state while calling for an examination of the conscience of the actors in Imo state, FCT, Abuja, or elsewhere.
: “We trust that Igbo spirit, which guided our intervention in the run-up to the recent Anambra state Governorship election and resulted in peaceful and salutary outcomes, will lead the key antagonists in Imo state politics to collaborate with us to help reconstruct the social order in the state to greater civility.
“To pursue one’s political interest to the detriment of the interest of the people that seek to serve violates the essence of the Igbo way and good leadership. As such we call on all the political gladiators, requesting that they note that the ethos of ndigbo is stepped in ‘egbe belu Ugo ebelu’. We know what fate is cast on the one that does not allow the other to perch”.