According to Igbere TV, the Federal Government has stated its commitment to addressing the ongoing herders-farmers clashes, marginalization, and other issues that are causing serious unrest in the country’s South East Zone.
Bashir Salihi Magashi, Minister of Defence, made the pledge while leading a Federal Government delegation to address Southeast Leaders at Lion House in Enugu State on Friday.
While assuring southeast leaders that the issues of instability and other fundamental issues affecting the Zone would be addressed, the Minister emphasized that the allegations of marginalization would also be addressed comprehensively when the leaders articulate all of the Zone’s demands and present them to the Federal Government.
The Defence Minister urged all nation leaders to work together to address the country’s insecurity in a comprehensive manner.
He also urged the press to do more to address the nation’s challenges through the use of their media.
“Issues raised included the general insecurity and criminality afflicting the country, and we are eager to discuss the ones unique to this region.”
“We agreed that there are underlying issues that must be addressed. One, the herders’ conflict should be viewed through the lens of national interest.
“Second, we discussed the problem of marginalization, which I believe is widely accepted, and we will speak with Mr. President to listen to the grievances after the Governors have articulated the region’s demands.
“We have agreed that southeast leaders are committed to the unity and stability of this nation, and we are assuring and reassuring them that this commitment will be relayed to the Federal Government through the Commander-in-Chief.”
Engineer David Nweze Umahi, Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, thanked the Federal Government for demonstrating genuine willingness to address the demands of the South East and reaffirmed the Zone’s leaders’ commitment to a united Nigeria where all citizens have equal rights.
He condemned the ongoing violent attacks on Security Agencies and Security Formations in the Zone by unknown gunmen, stating that the Southeast leaders do not support such activities.
“I’d like to thank the powerful Federal Government delegation to South East led by the Honourable Minister for Defence.” Our people are excited about this commitment, and we are very satisfied with this visit; for me and the rest of us, this is a genuine commitment, and it heralds a new dawn for the southeast and Nigeria as a whole.
“We have also agreed to articulate all of our grievances and concerns and present them to the Federal Government, and we are pleased that there is a genuine willingness to engage in further dialogue on such issues.”
“We are committed to one Nigeria, a Nigeria of equality, unity, justice, and fairness.
“Those who threaten secession do not speak for the Southeast, and we do not support such agitations.”
Governor Umahi clarified that the Ebubeagu Regional Security outfit is the only recognized security outfit authorized to supplement traditional security agencies in combating criminality in the Zone.