IPOB/Military Clash: Leaders Appeal For Peace, Unity

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Tension over the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and Indigenous People of Biafra has reawakened the call for national unity with leaders from different ethnic groups across the country calling for peace and unity.

Nigerians who live in states outside their places of origin have also been assured of their safety, especially those staying in the North and in the South East.

There was increased tension across the country during the week after soldiers and IPOB members clashed close to the home of the group’s leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, on Sunday, September 10.

The tension and fear which led to the declaration of curfews in Aba in Abia and Jos, was worsened by claims of attacks on non-indigenes in part of the South East and led to tension in Plateau and Kaduna states.

On Thursday, fear of a reprisal led the Plateau State government to declare a curfew on Jos, the state capital. A day later, traders in the Kaduna State capital had to hurriedly close shops and dash home for fear of being attacked.

But the tension is being handled with caution and leaders of different groups have come out to calle for peace.

In Anambra State, leaders and representatives of people from all other ethnic groups in the state met to address the issues threatening the unity of the country.

The Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs and Chieftaincy Title, Mr Greg Obi, delivered Governor Willie Obiano’s address to the people.

He said the governor wanted resident of the state to be more hospitable to others in the state “more than ever before”.

Representative of the Hausa community in Anambra, Garuba Haruna, thanked God that a major crisis had been averted following the increased tension. According to him, in the past, such tension would have led many northerners to flee the South East.

“Our host, the indigenes of Anambra State, regard us as indigenes of the state and we thank Almighty Allah as he fixed us to be here with them.”

In Kano State, leaders of the Igbo community met on Friday and dissociated themselves from the activities of IPOB.

The President-General of the Igbo Community in Kano, Mr. Ebenezer Chima, said rather than trading blames, they would follow the path of peace.

“In as much as we will not dwell in apportioning blames or asking for who is right or wrong. We are strongly advocating peace in the land,” he said.
“We also want to state categorically here that we are the Igbos residing and doing business in Kano state. We dissociate ourselves from the activities of IPOB.”

Meanwhile, Nassarawa State government has assured Igbos residing in the state of the protection of their lives and properties.

Briefing journalists in the state capital Lafia, Deputy-Governor of the state, Mr. Silas Agara said, “The lives and properties of our people, that we can assure, we have gotten the assurances that everything is in order.

“That people should go about their normal duties activities and we will be interfacing at intervals with all the security chiefs in the state and by the special grace of God, everything is under control.”

On Friday, governors of the South-East states also assured non-indigenes resident there that their safety is guaranteed.

As part of their resolutions to ensure the peace and unity of the country, they banned the activities of IPOB and urged it and aggrieved groups in the country to compile and submit their grievances to the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and members of the National Assembly from the region.

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