The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to address the incessant herders-farmers clashes, marginalization and other issues that are causing serious unrest in the South East Zone of the Country.
The Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi who headed a Federal Government delegation made this promise to southeast Leaders at Lion House, Enugu State on Friday.
While assuring the southeast leaders that the issues of instability and other fundamental issues as it affects the Zone would be addressed, the Minister emphasized that the allegations of marginalization would also be comprehensively addressed when the leaders articulate all the demands of the Zone and present them to the Federal Government.
The Defence Minister called for concerted efforts from all Nation leaders to holistically address the issues of instability in the Country.
He also called on the Press to do more through the instrumentality of their media to tackle the Nation’s challenges.
“Issues raised comprised the instability and the criminality affecting the Country in general and we are happy to discuss the ones that are peculiar to this part of the Country.
“We have agreed that there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. One, the herders’ conflict should be seen from the perspective of National interest.
“Second, we discussed the problem of marginalization which I think is well accepted and we will speak with Mr. President to listen to the grievances after the Governors must have articulated the demands of the region.
“We have agreed that southeast leaders are committed to the Unity and stability of this Nation and we are giving them the assurance and confidence that this commitment will be relayed to the Federal Government through the Commander-in-Chief.”
The Chairman South East Governors’ Forum, Engineer David Nweze Umahi thanked the Federal Government for showing genuine willingness to address the demands of South East and reiterated the commitment of leaders of the Zone to a united Nigeria where all citizens have equality of right.
He condemned the incessant violent attacks on Security Agencies and Security formations in the Zone by some unknown gunmen saying the southeast leaders are not in support of such activities.
“I want to thank this powerful Federal Government delegation led by the Honourable Minister for Defence to South East. Our people are excited about this commitment and we are very much satisfied with this visit, for me and the rest of us, this is a genuine commitment, it is a new dawn for southeast and entire Nigeria.
“We discussed the ban on open grazing and this delegation is also in support of open grazing ban, we also informed this delegation that each of the states of the South East has laws in this respect.
“We have also agreed to articulate all that is our grievances and concerns and present them to the Federal Government and we are happy that there is a genuine willingness for further dialogue on such issues.
“We are committed to one united Nigeria, a United Nigeria of equality, unity, justice and fairness.
“Those who dish out the threat of secession do not speak for southeast and we do not support such agitations”
Governor Umahi clarified that the Ebubeagu Regional Security outfit is the only recognized Security outfit empowered to complement the conventional Security Agencies in tackling criminalities in the Zone.
The interaction was attended by Governors of South East, Ministers, Senators, Ohaneze Ndigbo and other Political Officers from the Zone as well as Religious and Traditional Rulers among others.