A South East professional group has condemned the violent activities of members of the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, especially as they relate to the profiling of Fulani herdsmen in the geo-political zone of the country.
Specifically, the coalition maintained that peaceful Fulani herders, like other citizens, have the inalienable right to live and reside in any part of Nigeria without molestation, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
The group, operating under the aegis of Coalition of South-East Professional Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND), lampooned Kanu and members of his group for portraying Igbo as a violent people, who do not have the sense of accommodation and hospitality.
Insisting that the people of South-East are peaceful, amiable and accommodating, the professional group reiterated the fact that the unity of Nigeria remained non-negotiable, even as it enjoined Ndigbo within and outside to denounce Kanu and IPOB.
In a statement, Thursday, by its National President, Prof. Madumere Chika, CSEPNND reminded Ndigbo both at home and in the diaspora that a court of competent jurisdiction had proscribed IPOB, and accordingly labelled it a terrorist organisation.
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To this end, the coalition said dealing or identifying with IPOB under whatever guise, is treasonable; a serious offence against the State.
Also, the group condemned in its entirety the illegal contraption called Eastern Security Network (ESN), operated by Kanu, saying there could not be a government-within-a-government.
This was as it thanked Hausa/Fulani in the North and across the country for remaining calm and restraint, saying the action was commendable.
“We, therefore, call on the military and security agencies to move in, arrest and subject all elements operating under the ESN to deserved justice, while dismantling the illegal platform forthwith.
“In a particular, we commend the peaceful conduct of our Hausa/Fulani brothers in their domain and outside for not taking the law into their own hands, in the face of glaring provocation by Kanu and his followers, the group said in the statement.
The statement read: “Concerned by the despicable and reprehensible activities of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his uninformed followers, we rise to condemn all that this son of Ndigbo stands for, especially his antagonistic disposition towards the government of Nigeria.
“We hold that Kanu, in action and deed, does not represent the collective interest of the South East, hence should be disregarded and seen as inconsequential.
“We are particularly pained that this disposition is painting the Igbos in a bad light, especially among undiscerning members of the public, who may not understand that Kanu’s disposition is self-serving and criminal in nature, and not altruistic, as he wants the world to believe.
“We are further using this platform to distance ourselves and the Igbos in general, from the threats issued to peaceful Fulani herders in parts of the South East, as we have always maintained that the freedom to reside and conduct legitimate business in any part of the country, is sacrosanct.
“To our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers all over the world, we challenge you all to rise in unison to condemn all that Mazi Kanu does, propagates and stands for.
“How can a region known for its entrepreneurial spirit and republican nature, with huge investments in almost every part of Nigeria, allow a fugitive, who is apparently being sponsored by external forces, to continually cast us in such a bad light?”.
The statement continued: “Furthermore, civil and military authorities are enjoined to activate relevant sections of the law to clamp down on IPOB members, who have constituted themselves into a new terrorist group that goes by the name Eastern Security Network.
“We are alarmed that this group would be allowed freedom of action, thereby constituting themselves into a parallel security organisation.
“The need to deploy all lawful force to dismantle this contraption has become urgent and compelling, considering their violent attacks on both civilians and security agencies, with attendant deaths and destruction of property. While it’s a known fact that the people of south-east have been marginalized and are still marginalized we appeal to our people to remain calm and continue to push for their rights through lawful channels.