Igbo elders’ council worries over Southeast insecurity, tasks parties on rotation



By Chimezie Anaso

A group, the Southeast Elders Council, has described the growing insecurity in the Southeastern part of the country as unacceptable and a matter of urgent attention.

The Elders’ Council which expressed the concern after its meeting in Onitsha, the commercial capital of Anambra, said it would convene a stakeholders’ meeting with the aim of finding a lasting solution.

The Communique of the meeting made available to newsmen in Awka on Sunday was signed by its chairman, Justice Anthony Iguh, a former Justice of the Supreme Court and Chief Judge of Anambra and Prof. Donald Okoli, its secretary.

It said the security challenges in the Southeast including killings and destruction of property was no longer tolerable as it was inhibiting economic progress. 

The group said the stakeholders’ meeting which would hold in July would include elder statesmen, the traditional institution, religious leaders, security experts and the intelligentsia from the Southeast.

According to the communique, on May 11, the National Executive Council met and agreed on the  need for an urgent meeting of all, inclusive of  Igbo Elder Statesmen, Critical/Major Stakeholders and National Advisory Council.

“This will bridge the cultural, religious and economic gaps in leadership and governance in Igbo land and deliberate on current security challenges bedeviling the region and other parts of the country.

“The meeting will proffer solutions to how best to solve the problem by way of revamping sustainable economic development,” it stated.

The Elders’ Council backed the call for a president from Southeast to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and urged the major political parties in the country to produce candidates from the zone.

It expressed surprise at the decision of political parties to jettison their rotational arrangement in choosing their flag bearers.

“It is the turn of Igbos to produce the next President of Nigeria based on their contributions to the Sustainable Development of key sectors of the Nigerian economy, and having been denied this position since the end of civil war in 1970.

 It called on “the major political parties to field their presidential candidates from Igbo extraction in the forthcoming presidential election based on equity, justice and fairness. “We call on all people from Igbo descent to unite for the purpose of achieving the presidency in 2023,” it stated.(NAN)