Raphael Ede, Enugu
Leaders of the South-East region rose from a meeting on Thursday in Enugu and declared that they would compensate all victims of the recent violence occasioned by the #EndSARS protests in the zone.
Ministers, National Assembly members, traditional and religious leaders from the region also tasked their state governors to set up a fund for the compensation to be successful.
The Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, Chief David Umahi, who read the resolutions of the leaders at the end of the meeting, which lasted seven hours, appealed to the Igbo youth to be calm and allow the Federal Government to address the issues of police brutality, extrajudicial killings and extortion, which were the primary reasons for the #EndSARS protests.
The communiqué read in part, “We sympathise with all the victims’ families, including the police and other security agencies and all those who lost their properties in the recent disturbances that followed the #EndSARS agitation.
“The South-East will engage our youths to ensure a sustainable peace in the South-East and a glorious future for our children. Each state in the region will set up a fund to assist the victims of the crisis, including the police, the army and other security agencies as well as civilians.
“We advise all our youths that while our governors are working hard to meet their demands, the destruction of public and private properties and killing of security agents and civilians will never be allowed to continue.”
“We therefore direct all Igbo, both in and outside Nigeria, to go about their businesses and should not participate in all forms of unlawful protest and criminality. We offer to protect all ethnic groups living in the South-East and we thank other parts of Nigeria for protecting our people in their areas.”
Apart from Umahi, the meeting, which continues today (Friday), had in attendance governors of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu; Deputy Governor of Imo State, Placid Njoku; and the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke.
Some of the other dignitaries at the event are the Chairman of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; and the Chairman of the Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, Igwe Ambassador Lawrence Agubuzu.