BY AHURAKA ISAH and SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja

Senators and members of the House of Representatives of the South East extraction yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the perceived marginalisation of Igbo in the country.

The lawmakers said the ongoing agitations in the region can only be addressed if there is proportional representation of people from the south east in his government and generally in the scheme of things.

The  South East Caucus of the National Assembly which met on Tuesday in Abuja drew attention of President Buhari to a number of issues in their 6-point communique which they expect the President to address to stem the tide of agitation for secession in the region.

The Caucus, spearheaded by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and the leader of South East Caucus in the National Assembly, Eyinnaya Abaribe, have however called on the leadership and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to cease fire, to enable them explore political solutions to the ongoing face-off.

It would be recalled that Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja formally released Kanu from detention after Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; a Jewish High Chief Priest, Immanuu-El Shalom and a Chartered Accountant residing in Abuja, Mr. Tochukwu Uchendu, signed his bail bond on April 28, 2017. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who mobilized these sureties for Kanu was at the court to receive him from custody that day.

In a communiqué released yesterday, a copy of which was obtained by LEADERSHIP, the lawmakers also rejected the categorisation of IPOB as a terrorist organisation by the military.

They said if the tag is unchallenged, it will have severe implications on the entire geopolitical zone. The Caucus argued the categorisation will affect the people in the area and foreclose any dialogue with the relevant authorities.

The communiqué jointly signed by Abaribe and Chukwuka Onyema who heads the House of Representatives Caucus of South East, reads: “We call on IPOB to suspend all its activities as we engage our colleagues in the National Assembly and work with them in addressing all issues of concern to IPOB in particular and the entire South East in general.

“We appreciate the efforts of the South East Governors and the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo in the handling of the agitations in the South East with regards to the confrontations of the military with IPOB, especially in Abia State.

“We condemn all acts of terrorism. In the case of IPOB, we reject the branding of any organisation in Nigeria without cause or following due process where such cause do exist.

“We take this position because of the implication of such branding to innocent citizens from the area who maybe affected by the consequences. This branding, we believe, will foreclose any dialogue that will bring about a peaceful end to the activities of such group.

“We call on the leadership of Nigeria to look into the problem that feed never ending agitations by youths of the South East and other geopolitical zones of the country.

“We condemn the use of hate speeches and remarks by anybody, as the dignity of humans must be respected at all times, even while dissenting on any issue.

“We affirm our support for the unity of Nigeria anch!on justice, equality and fair treatment on all parts of the country.”

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Posted on Sep 21, 2017 - Last updated on Sep 21, 2017
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