The Federal Government delegation and South East stakeholders on Friday, met in Enugu to brainstorm on best ways to end ongoing security crisis in the region and Nigeria at large.
The delegation led by the Defence Minister, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd.) was locked in deliberation with the South-East stakeholders and security heads at the Enugu Government House.
Magashi said the issues raised at the meeting comprised, instability and criminality affecting the region and the country in general.
According to him, we are happy to have discussed the issues peculiar to the South East.
“We agreed that there are fundamental issues that need to be addressed which includes herders conflict which should be seen from the perspective of national interest and to find solutions that will stop the menace all over the country.
“Also, the problem of marginalisation which I think is well accepted but private discussion will continue, after we may have met with the President to look at the grievances,” he said.
The minister said that they also discussed community policing which was invoked now in the country by state governments.
“We have the opinion that such moves by the governors should be encouraged and we appreciate all our discussions,” Magashi said.
The defense minister promised to relay the outcome of the meeting to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking, the Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Gov. David Umahi thanked the Federal Government delegation for its concerns toward insecurity in the South East.
According to him, our people are excited with this commitment and sacrifices and we thank you so much.
He explained that the stakeholders discussed issues of open grazing adding that the delegation was in support of it.
“We informed the delegation that each state of the region has laws in respect to the ban,” he said.
Umahi informed the delegation that “Ebube Agu, remained the only recognised security outfit in the South East and reiterated the region’s commitment to unity, fairness, equity, Justice and equality of freedom.
He thanked the delegation on concerns toward hate speech and urged them to advise some political and opinion leaders to check their utterances.
The chairman noted that hate speeches could plunge the country into crisis saying that those who did so from the region were not speaking for the people.
He said that South East leaders condemned the killings of security men, innocent citizens and burning of government facilities in the region.
The meeting was attended by Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Hope Uzodimma of Imo while Anambra Governor, was represented by his deputy, Mr Nkem Okeke.
Other dignitaries were President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor, Rep Enyinnaya Abaribe, Toby Okechukwu and representatives of traditional rulers and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).