The Igbo World Assembly (IWA), the umbrella body of Ndiigbo in diaspora, has cautioned the Federal Government of Nigeria against the use of force to stop ethnic groups from agitating for self-determination.
The group, during an emergency meeting by its country leaders yesterday, having reviewed the abduction of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in a foreign land and his detention in Nigeria, called for his release and that of other political prisoners in the country unconditionally.
The group advised the government to allow Nigerians to decide their fate while it focuses on addressing massive insecurity, unemployment, hunger, poverty and other challenges.
Accordingly, the group in a communique signed by its Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, noted that Nigeria can only be saved through a negotiation that allows Nigerians to express their will and discuss their peaceful co-existence based on equity, respect and fairness, and to discuss their peaceful co-existence based on justice.
The group after considering carefully the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria, massive agitation from all parts of Nigeria, ongoing killing, raping and destruction of farms and property by Fulani herdsmen/Miyetti Allah, among other issues, noted that there was need for dialogue and negotiation, adding: “We need a serious dialogue among all the ethnic nationalities for Nigeria to continue its existence.”
Anakwenze stated that Kanu must be released immediately and unconditionally as his further detention is unacceptable.
“The current situation whereby southern Nigerians agitating for a free homeland are killed, arrested and detained, while herdsmen/Miyetti Allah members, who kill our people and rape our women are protected, can no longer be tolerated.
That the abduction of Kanu cannot silence or end the agitation as the root cause for agitation remains unattended-allowing the Nigerian people to decide their fate or live-in freedom,” he stated.
IWA, while affirming its commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence amongst its people through a national dialogue, in the communique, noted further that: “The existence of the IPOB, Sunday Igboho’s group and many other of such groups is a response to the present Nigerian administration treatment of Nigerian indigenous ethnic groups.
“The federal government can use brutal force to arrest individuals but cannot arrest the people’s agitation, and the will of the people cannot be arrested and suppressed by force, however, negotiation could bring lasting solution to the problems in the country.”