OHANAEZE WANTS STATE OF EMERGENCY IN BORNO
Elders Council of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has urged the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in Borno State, to avoid further loss of lives to the Boko Haram sect. It also condemned the activities of the group and called for the unmasking of those behind it.
In a communiquÃ© issued after an emergency meeting of the council, otherwise known as Ime-Obi, in Abuja, the body 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.'
Chairman the 'Ime-Obi Ohanaeze,' in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who spoke on behalf of the council, said it 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.'
It said 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.'
Ohanaeze also 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.
Calling on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to urgently declare a state of emergency in Borno State without further delay, the group 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.
According to the communiquÃ©, the council called 'on the Federal Government and the military authorities to ensure that the lives of innocent Nigerians and especially the Igbo, who incidentally have the next largest population in Borno State, after the indigenes, are protected and their property protected from organised and unorganised looting.'
It also charged '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.'
Ohanaeze further called on the Borno State Governor, Dr. Kashim Ibrahim Shettima, to ensure that the property of Ndigbo in Borno State were 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 till they arrive at a safer destination.
Apart from Ezeife, other prominent members of the Ohanaeze, who attended the meeting are: Dr. Ifedi Okwenna (secretary-general); HRH Eze Ibe Nwosu (Eze-Igbo Abuja); Barr. Calistus Nwabueze Obi (chairman, Ohanaeze FCT) and Chief Agunwa Anaekwe.