The ongoing pro-Biafra protests across major towns and cities in the South East geo-political zone and some parts of Delta and Rivers State and just recently the Alaba International Market in Lagos State, should be stopped forthwith.
This was the position of no fewer than 60 prominent Igbo leaders after their meeting yesterday in Lagos.
The eminent persons, who met under the auspices of Concerned Igbo Elders, Traditional Rulers and Stakeholders, also warned against the exportation of the protests just as they re-affirmed their faith in the indivisibility of Nigeria.
At the event, which was attended by serving and former public office holders, academicians, traditional rulers and the clergy, the assumption that the outrage was provoked by the poor state of infrastructure in the South-East geopolitical zone was unanimously dismissed.
However, the Igbo leaders noted that the alleged exclusion of the zone in the sharing of key political offices under the current dispensation, was the underlying factor for the protests, calling on the authorities to address the situation.
Those at the event included the Deputy Senate President; Sen Ike Ekweremadu, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, retd, Mr. Peter Obi, Prof Ben Nwabueze, SAN, Prof A.B.C Nwosu, Chief Joe Irukwu, SAN, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Senator Sonni Ogbuju, Sen Ben Obi, Prof George Obiozor, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey, and Elder Uma Eleazu.
Others were Osita Ogbu, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Chief C.C Ifeanyi, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Chief Charles Odunukwe, Eze C.I. Ilomuanya, Eze Gibson Nwosu, Igwe Chris Onyekwuluije, Chief Dr. E. A Ukpabi, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, Chief C.C Ifeanyi, Chief Christopher Eze, Chief Charles Odunukwe and leaders of various market associations in Lagos among others.
A communique issued at the forum reads: “This meeting was convened at the instance of the Deputy Senate President, Sen Ike Ekweremadu. The meeting was of the view that Ndigbo are dissatisfied with their current position in Nigeria. The meeting noted that Nigeria is a negotiated federation of three regions in 1960. And our fore fathers played a major role in bringing it to be.
“Ndigbo have reviewed the ongoing street and public protests by the youths calling for Biafra and are of the considered opinion that these are outward expressions of the psychological and physical pain arising from the current exclusion of the South East geo-political zone from the governance of the country and this should be addressed and redressed.
“Consequently, Ndigbo strongly recommend that dialogue be embraced in order to remedy the situation. All public protests should be stopped. And more importantly the public protests should not be exported. Ndigbo are deeply saddened by the loss of lives arising from the protest. Enough Igbo blood has been spilled in Nigeria”.