Declare State of Emergency in Borno -Ohaneze tells FG

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Ohaneze Ndigbo yesterday asked government to declare state of emergency in Borno state, even as it condemned the spate of killings by the Boko Haram sect and urged the financiers of the sect to come out of their shells.

In a communiqué issued after an emergency meeting of Ime-Obi (Elders Council) of Ohanaeze Ndigbo which took place at the weekend in Abuja, the body “unanimously expressed concern on the deteriorating security situation in Maiduguri and parts of Borno state and the wanton destruction of lives and property in the North Eastern zone”.

Speaking on behalf of the body, former governor of Anambra state, Okwadike Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife who is Chairman the “Ime-Obi Ohanaeze”, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), they strongly condemned the activities of Boko Haram sect “and their collaborators who have owned up to the responsibility for the series of bombings in Maiduguri, Bauchi, Kaduna, Suleja, Abuja and other parts of Northern Nigeria, especially  for the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians and destruction of public and private properties”.

Ohaneze noted that it was against all ethical, traditional and religious norms for the body to engage in killings for whatever reason, advising the “Boko Haram sect to stop forthwith  the spate of bombings,  embrace dialogue and other legal means in laying their grievances against the Federal, State, corporate or private authorities”.

Apart from the group, the Ime Obi called “on the rich/politician financiers of Boko Haram to come out clean, embrace dialogue and stop shedding crocodile tears with the rest of honestly, concerned and worried Nigerians”, adding that the decision to adopt military intervention in the matter remained the best option so far.

While calling on President  Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to urgenctly declare a State of Emergency in Bornu State without further delay, they noted that what is happening in the place is a serious “threat to the democratic institutions in the State”, adding that doing so would allow the federal authorities directly handle the situation in the place.

Speaking further, Ohaneze “calls on the Federal Government and the Military authorities to ensure that the lives of innocent Nigerians and especially the Igbos who incidentally have the next largest population in Bornu State after the indigenes, are protected and their properties protected from organized and unorganized looting.

“Charge the Federal Government to henceforth ensure early intervention in any State where the activities of these sect and their collaborators are noticed as delays usually lead to loss of innocent lives, properties and distortion of economies of the State and country.

“Commend the Imo State Governor His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha for his prompt response in evacuating the Imo indigenes out of Bornu State” and called on other South East Governors and that of Rivers and Delta states to urgently ensure that all Igbos in Maiduguri who desire to leave are safely evacuated.

Ohaneze further called on the Bornu State Governor, Dr Kashim Ibrahim Shettima to ensure that the properties of Ndigbo in Bornu State are not looted or treated as “abandoned”, and urged both the federal, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Plateau states governors to ensure that safe passage is granted to all evacuees leaving Borno state till they arrive at a safer destination.

Apart from Ezeife, other prominent members of the Ime Obi who attended the meeting are: Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, Secretary-General; HRH Eze Ibe Nwosu, Igbo I (Eze-Igbo Abuja); Barr. Calistus Nwabueze Obi, Chairman Ohanaeze FCT; Chairman Ohanaeze FCT, Rep. Abia and Rt. Hon Chief Agunwa Anaekwe, Rep. Anambra State.

Others are Hon (Chief) Silas Arinze Ilo, Rep. Enugu State; Elder Barr Onwu O. Arua, Rep. Ebonyi State; AVM Konye Ekezie Rtd, Rep. Imo State; Engr John Ogbuh, Rep. Enugu State; Ogbueshi Patrick Osadebeh, Rep. Delta State; Chief Harrison Omeoka, Rep. Rivers State and several other.