By Ikeugonna Eleke
A women’s group, Mothers of Ndigbo, has decried the high level of insecurity in the Southeast, calling on the federal government to quickly wade in and stop what they called the incessant killings in the zone.
The group which consists of Igbo women from the age of 60 and above, during a press conference on Tuesday, said the insecurity in the zone had gotten to a climax.
Mrs Chika Ibeneme who addressed journalists on behalf of the group said, ‘The situation has gotten to the climax in recent times that we can no longer afford to stand astride and look while the security situation in Nigeria, particularly in the Southeast Region continues to deteriorate due to the complicity and obvious compromise by security forces in the country on the assumed instructions of powers that be who have remained silent while Igbos are being maimed in their own country.’
The group said since 2015, there had been systematic attacks on the peace and tranquility that had over the years existed in the Southeast Region with the attendant economic hardships on the citizens.
They said the attacks and other insecurity problem had made the zone fall in the poverty rating of the National Bureau of Statistics.
The group chronicled some killings in the zone, while also protesting what it called the lopsided appointment of security personnel in the country, which, it said, had left the Southeast with no representative in the country’s Security Council.
It said, ‘Till date, despite all these killings, it is on record that no single perpetrator of these heinous atrocities against the people have been held to account or brought to justice while the victims have neither been adequately compensated nor taken care of.
‘Armed herders have been invading and violently seizing and occupying ancestral bushes, farmlands and forests belonging to the indigenous people of the Southeast Region and its outposts in Kogi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Cross River States.’
Proffering solutions, the group said: ‘As an immediate remedial measure before the situation gets out of hand, the Federal Government must, without further delay, demilitarize the Southeast Region and its key outposts.
‘We call on the federal government to immediately end the policy of flooding our land and its outposts with compromised Muslim military and police commanders.
‘All killer herdsmen, clandestinely aided and protected by federal security forces who have now permanently settled in farmlands, bushes and forests in our land and our key neighbouring states, must be moved out and relocated back to wherever they were brought from.’