Third Republic Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife has cautioned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to shelve their threats of embarking on a sit-at-home protest slated to start next Monday, August 9.
According to the former governor, the South-East region solely bears the consequences of such an economic disruption as it drives investors away and breeds unemployment.
File photo used to illustrate story.
He said such resolutions usually make the region less secure, adding that an average Nigerian knows that the Nigerian government is not fair with people.
Ezeife stated this in an exclusive interview with SaharaReporters on Sunday.
On the travails of the leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, Ezeife said the situation may lead to peace talks between the agitators and the Nigerian authorities.
Ezeife was recently appointed as the leader of the delegate of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo to observe Kanu’s trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Speaking on the next line of action on the matter, Ezeife noted that the separatist leader’s arrest is a pointer to asking critical questions in Nigeria.
“Well, we are praying that the whole issue be converted to a dialogue. Let us dialogue on why IPOB is crying? Why are people like me saying the Federal Government is pushing us out of Nigeria? Can we dialogue in the interest of one peaceful Nigeria? Can we dialogue on developing, growing one Nigeria?
“So, the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu might fast-track achieving the restructuring and fairness of Nigerian system. As the same with (Sunday) Igboho in Yorubaland, seen as an opposition by the Nigerian government. Why would Yoruba or Igbo want to go if they are treated well because nobody is born into slavery in their own country?” Ezeife said.
When asked if the Nigerian government is willing to have a dialogue with secessionist agitators, he said, “We don’t know but we must try. We must try. The question is very necessary. Everybody believes that something is not right about the leadership of this country. I think we should pray that God should touch the hearts of the leaders to listen.”
IPOB issued a statement last week that its members and South-East residents will cripple the economy of Nigeria by obeying a sit-at-home beginning from Monday, August 9.
The group stated that it would use this as a machinery to demand the release of its leader who has been in the custody of the secret police since June.
But Ezeife said, “What do we achieve by staying at home? What do we achieve by making the South-East less secure? Who bears the brunt of it? Who suffers for it? Such actions will make investors avoid the South-East. This can make the unemployment situation get worse. So what do we achieve with all these?
“I should appeal to IPOB not to carry out their threats. It is not in our interest as it doesn’t help in any way.
“Well, how does forcing people to stay at home and threatening insecurity help in the cause of that? Is it to force the governors to perform? I don’t see any advantage and value in saying people should stay at home every Monday. We are just ruining our economy, ruining our lives. I think they should think again. In fact, I hope they don’t go on with that.”