Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has counseled the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) to stop agitations and present their grievances and continue same if he fails to address the perceived injustice within six months.
Mr Umahi, who chairs the South-East governors forum and presided over the proscription of the secessionist group in 2017, made the plea on Saturday in Abakaliki during the conclusion of the 8-day prayer and fasting session organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ebonyi State Chapter, over the security situation in the state.
Since it was proscribed, the group has been calling on authorities, particularly the state governors to rescind their proscription because they are not terrorists as tagged.
This was after members of the group abroad assaulted, Ike Ekweremadu, a federal lawmaker from Enugu State in Germany over rising insecurity in the Igbo predominantly area.
TODAY POLITICS observed that since IPOB launched its security outfit codenamed Eastern Security Network (ESN) in December last year, to tackle violent herdsmen residing in forests reserves across the former Eastern region, political and religious leaders from the geo-political zone who were against them have been mindful of their comments thereafter.
A popular cleric recently blessed Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the secessionist group being tried on treasonable felony, describing him as his spiritual son.
Addressing the audience during the gathering, the Ebonyi helmsman said he does not believe in the disintegration of the country, even though secessionist groups have genuine grievances, as recently asserted to by his Abia colleague, Okezie Ikpeazu.
“I want Igbos to submit these agitations and I would lead the governors and leaders of the zone to the centre to address these grievances,” Mr Umahi pledged. “The groups can then do what they like if after six months, we fail to address these grievances.”
Mr Umahi also said he does not believe in a country where citizens are not treated squarely.
“I do not believe in second-class citizenship where a section of the country is being seen to be superior to others,” he said. “We are all created by God and no one should talk of disintegrating the country.”