Ndigbo Historical Initiatives (NHI) has said it seriously lament about the ease with which atrocities are being executed in the South East of Nigeria and has therefore called for true reconciliation.
This is contained in a press release signed by the NHI Convener, Ngozi Iregbu-Ihejirika.
NHI said for there is no better way to have a sense of despondency than the ease with which these atrocities were carried out. Some have blamed ‘unknown gunmen’, others have said there could be a conspiracy between security officials and the perpetrators of the crimes. Indeed, not a few have blamed the illegal acts on separatist agitators – IPOB and its armed group ESN.
Iit added that “in view of the precarious situation and the economic and social devastation it will bring to Igboland,” we hereby make the following observations:
- It is our considered opinion that the crisis of instability in Igboland is unhelpful at every level to our people. Whoever is behind it must stop immediately.
- The authorities – both at the federal, state and local levels have not handled the issues with utmost attention and forbearance.
- Government has applied the wrong strategies or no strategies at all in dealing with the issues.
- We have decided against apportioning blames, instead have chosen to engage the process and find new ways of resolving conflicts at all levels.
- We support the Reconciliation committee set up by Ohaneze Ndigbo, but call on them to increase the number of women in the group for optimal performance.
- We do not support militarization of our communities, but appeal to our leaders at various levels especially non-state actors not to habour agents of destabilization in their midst. As they say, he who rides the back of a tiger should remember that when the beast is hungry he will end up in its stomach.
- Igboland is still part and parcel of Nigeria, and therefore must conform to the laws of the land. Agitations can happen within the laws governing the country.
- We call on governors of the South East in particular to work with the State Houses of Assembly where necessarily to activate autonomy for local governments. It is our view that part of the instability ravaging our land can be traced back to the reduction of LGAs to mere spectators in governance. Let the money meant for councils be given to them and allow them function as enshrined in the constitution. It will help communities function more effectively
- We call on the Executive Governors of the Southeastern States to be more accountable to their people by putting their security votes to more effective use; we also encourage them to ensure that the recently established Ebubeagu Security outfit becomes functional.
- We encourage local communities to establish their own local vigilante groups to supplement the efforts of government,
Ndigbo Historical Initiative is a research-based organisation focused on advocacy, fact-based history/information, culture and social development, we shall soon commence a deliberate drive towards improving our people’s involvement in the things that matter to them no matter where we may reside, NHI concluded.