The South-East Governors Forum, at a meeting in Enugu on Friday, proscribed the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra in the five states of the region.
The meeting was attended by Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Willie Obiano (Anambra).
Imo State was represented by Deputy Governor, Eze Madumere.
The meeting, which lasted several hours, also had the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Enugu, Gen. Adamu Abubakar, in attendance.
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Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Umahi, who addressed journalists after the meeting, which held at Enugu State Government House, explained that the leadership of IPOB “sent their apologies” for their absence at the parley.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who was to be part of the meeting, backed out on Wednesday, claiming that there was a plot to assassinate him on his way to Enugu.
Umahi said the meeting deliberated on the security situation in the South-East.
All the governors are to enforce the proscription of the activities of the IPOB in their respective states.
The governors, in the same vein, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers from the zone.
Reading a communiqué after the meeting, Umahi said, “All activities of IPOB are hereby proscribed. IPOB and all other aggrieved groups are advised to articulate their position on all national issues and submit to the Committee of Governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and National Assembly members from South-East Zone, through the Chairman, South-East Governors Forum.
“All governors of South-East Zone are to ensure compliance in their respective states.
“South-East Governors Forum and Ohanaeze Ndigbo do hereby reinforce their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria.
“We also reinforce our desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian.
“We reiterate our earlier position that the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State must hold.
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“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to please, withdraw the military in the South-East Zone, while police perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order.
“South-East governors have taken concrete steps to protect lives and property of non-indigenes in the South-East.”
Umahi added that the South-East governors are in touch with their counterparts in the North, who they said have also given them assurance of the security of Igbo in the North.
The governors added that allegations of killing and maiming in the zone are being investigated.
“In keeping with our earlier position, we wish to assure Nigerians that full investigation is ongoing on all allegations of killings and maiming and other unlawful conduct in the South-East Zone within this period. The governors and the security agencies are in agreement that appropriate action will be taken against anyone found culpable,” the communiqué added.
The governors urged residents of the South-East “to go about their normal businesses as government of each state is committed to protecting everybody”.
“Finally, we advise our people in the South-East to please be law abiding,” the communiqué added.