A group of women under the auspices of Credible Igbo Women Initiative have called on the Federal Government to stop the bloodletting in Igbo land.
In a press conference in Lagos on Thursday, the women lamented the alarming level of insecurity in Igbo land and Nigeria.
According to them, “The sustained instability in Igbo land has resulted in our children being dragged out of their houses, cars and even pedestrian walks, captured, arbitrarily branded IPOB members and often summarily executed with impunity and without a trial.
“Those captives that survive the ordeal are subsequently displayed to the press as proof of the security forces’ success. Our children are thus daily dehumanised to the extent that concerned citizens such as Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese have raised the alarm on unidentified corpses in the morgues. Such concerns have been reiterated by corporate bodies including the Nigeria Bar Association which has decried the grossly overcrowded detention centres in Alaigbo.”
Below is the communique issued by the women whose spokesperson is popular musician, Onyeka Onwenu:
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED ON THE OCCASSION OF THE NATIONAL PRESS CONFERENCE ON PEACE IN IGBO LAND, HELD IN LAGOS, NIGERIA, ON THURSDAY, 10TH JUNE 2021, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF CREDIBLE IGBO WOMEN INITIATIVE. (AN ARM OF THE CREDIBILITY GROUP)
This communiqué is written and assented to by Igbo mothers in Nigeria against this backdrop:
– The alarming level of insecurity in Igbo land and in Nigeria, generally, resulting in lives being wasted, daily.
– Reckless spilling of the blood of our children by security operatives with impunity, everyday.
– Militarisation of Igbo land and apparent threat by the Federal Government of Nigeria to apply maximum force in dealing with the problem of insecurity in Igbo land.
– The fact that The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 14(2) states unequivocally that THE SECURITY AND WELFARE OF THE CITIZENS SHALL BE THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT!
B – DECLARATIONS
We the women of Igbo Land (Alaigbo) do hereby declare as follows:
- The Federal government has the duty to protect the people of this country, especially Igboland which is currently under heavy armed attack by air and land, daily.
- We vehemently condemn the activities in Igbo land by unknown gunmen, arsonists, and brigands whose actions are clearly calculated to create an atmosphere of civil unrest. For the avoidance of doubt, these are not our children, and they are not acting under the authority of Ndigbo (Igbo people).
- The sustained instability in Igbo land has resulted in our children being dragged out of their houses, cars and even pedestrian walks, captured, arbitrarily branded IPOB members and often summarily executed with impunity and without a trial. Those captives that survive the ordeal are subsequently displayed to the press as proof of the security forces’ success. Our children are thus daily dehumanised to the extent that concerned citizens such as Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese have raised the alarm on unidentified corpses in the morgues. Such concerns have been reiterated by corporate bodies including the Nigeria Bar Association which has decried the grossly overcrowded detention centres in Alaigbo.
- We state that, having lost our means of livelihood because of the invasion and destruction of our farms by ruthless herdsmen, our hope lies in government to ameliorate our heart-breaking circumstances, including providing security generally and compensation for the death and destruction of our Children and properties.
- We note that the systematic neglect of our youths over the years through lack of social and financial incentives, scholarships and skills acquisition support, have resulted in mass unemployment and distortion of the social fabric.
- We observe with deep concern that the market men and women continue to suffer greatly in the hands of security forces in Igboland with the result that markets and shops are often under lock and key and are constantly looted with impunity.
C -OUR DEMANDS.
WE THEREFORE CALL ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE URGENT ACTION TO RESTORE OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE SECURITY FORCES. IN THIS REGARD, WE RESPECTFULLY DEMAND AS FOLLOWS:
- THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD CONVOKE A SECURITY CONCLAVE FORTHWITH
- Stop the bloodletting! No more killings, no more brutality, no more harassment and intimidation of our children! Enough!
- AS A FIRST STEP, THE KILLER SQUADS MUST LEAVE IGBOLAND
- Men and women whose children met their untimely death in the hands of the gunmen, both known, and unknown should be consoled and compensated.
- Similarly, widows and widowers whose spouses have met their untimely death should be consoled and compensated.
- Financial and social incentives should be provided to create a fresh beginning for our children.
- A level playing field should be provided for our children. No more discrimination! No more favouritism!!!
- The Federal Government should sytematically and transparently embrace diversity and inclusion so that every citizen can aspire to achieve their fullest potential whether in the public or private sector, irrespective of tribe, creed or association.
AS MOTHERS, WE BEAR THE BRUNT OF AVOIDABLE LOSS OF LIVES AND PROPERTY. WE ARE BROKEN AND TIRED OF BURYING OUR CHILDREN. THEREFORE WE CRY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, “SAVE OUR SOULS AND LET PEACE REIGN IN OUR LAND AGAIN”.
#IGBO LIVES MATTER!!
3-The Chief Spokesperson-Onyeka Onwenu.
4-The representative, Abia state Women.
5-The representative, Anambra state Women.
6-The representative, Ebonyi state Women.
7-The representative, Enugu state Women.
8-The representative, Imo state Women.
9-The representative, Anioma Women, Delta state.
10-The representative, Rivers state Women.
11-Women leader Ohaneze Ndigbo Lagos Chapter
12-Women leader, Ohaneze Ndigbo Southwest Chapter
13- The representative, Market Men and Women Association, South-East and South-South.