GOVERNORS of the five state that make up the southeast geo-political zone of Nigeria have distanced themselves from the secessionist group the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) saying that it does not speak for the Igbo people.
Over recent years, there has been a growing clamour for secession across the southeast geo-political zone led by Ipob. This agitation has been fuelled by the murderous activities of Fulani cattle herdsmen, the perceived marginalisation of Igbos when it comes to federal appointments and the lack of fiscal federalism.
Ipob and other secessionist groups have seen their member and popularity grow and pressure has intensified on the South East Governors Forum to act. Yesterday, the five governors met in Enugu and issued a communiqué in which they said Ipob does not speak for the Igbo masses with its calls for secession.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, the chairman of the South East Governors Forum, said: “We condemn in totality, the activities of violent secessionist groups in the southeast and elsewhere. We firmly proclaim that we do not support them and they do not speak for the southeast.
“The impression that southeast leaders are silent over some of our youths’ agitations for secession is not correct. Southeast governors, the Ohanaeze president, National Assembly members, notable leaders have come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations.
“In order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, southeast leaders have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears.”