From PAT NNADI, Nsukka
Leaders of thought and government in the South East geo-political rose from a closed-door meeting at Government House, Enugu yesterday, with a resolve to to engage the youth to ensure sustainable peace in the zone as well as “a glorious future for our children”.
The leaders, comprising Governors, National Assembly Members, Ministers, the Clergy, traditional rulers, community and women leaders, among others, who attended the meeting sympathized with all the victims’ families of the #EndSARS protests, including the police and other security agencies “as well as all those who lost their loved ones and properties during the recent disturbances.”
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, assured that “the State Governors are committed to addressing the concerns of our young people that are peculiar to various States and will engage the federal government and their colleagues in other States to address the other issues that are national.”
The SEGF chairman disclosed that “each State in the South East zone will set up a fund to assist the victims of the crisis, including the police, Army and other security agencies as well as civilians.”
The South East leaders, however, told the zone’s youth that “while our Governors are working hard to meet their demands, the destruction of public and private properties and killing of security agents and civilians will never be allowed to continue.”
While offering to protect all ethnic groups living in the South East, the leaders thanked other parts of Nigeria for protecting Igbos in their areas too.
“We, therefore, direct all Igbos, both in and outside Nigeria, to go about their businesses and should not participate in any form of unlawful protest and criminality,” they stated.
Also present at the meeting were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, his Abia State counterpart, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, Imo State Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Senator Sam Egwu and Senator Uche Ekwunife.
Others include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State for Environment, Hon. Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, the Obi of Onitsha, HRM, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Amb. Mrs. Justina Eze, and others.