…Urge FG, governors to tackle insecurity
A group of Igbo lawyers in Lagos, known as Otu Oka-Iwu Nigeria, has raised the alarm over the declining economic activities in the South-East occasioned by the sit-at-home order on Mondays in the region.
The group urged the five South-East governors to come together and make a proposal as to security, education and investment, in order to bring to an end, the sit-at-home conundrum in the Southeast.
President of the group, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, while speaking in Lagos at its maiden news conference, also called on the Federal and State governments to, as a matter of urgency, tackle the insecurity in the region.
Unegbu maintained that the rising rate of insecurity has crippled business activities and restrained investment in the region, adding that the sit-at-home conundrum in Igboland on Mondays is now a norm.
He said: “We appear to have been abandoned by the government that campaigned that we should elect them to protect us. We are using this medium to call on the government to come to our aid in Igboland.
“We observe with pains in our hearts the wanton destruction of the Igboland economy. The Igboland before now was bubbling with activities from the Onitsha-Nnewi axis through the Aba-Orlu axis. Today the story is in the past and this has given rise to a comatose economy without direction and no substance.
“We must all do something to bring back those days of old where the young challenge nature to a wrestling contest for ideas where the young in our communities will surely come out victorious. We should go back to the drawing board and discover where we got it wrong before it is too late.
Mazi Unegbu maintained that the economy of the South-East was really down, adding that there is need for both the state and Federal Governments to help restore the economy of the South-East and fight the insecurity ravaging the region.
He said: “We are a group that believes in the unity of this great country Nigeria. We have no other country to call our own. So, for that reason, we call on the Federal and State Governments to quickly address the issue of insecurity in the South-East as this has contributed to the fall in all economic and business activities as people cannot move freely. This is a very sore issue concerning the entire country as nowhere is safe today.”
According to him, investment in education is very important, particularly technical education in order to encourage the youths, stating: “If you encourage education, you are encouraging intellectual development, mind building,” urging the government to let the youths get into technology.
“Today, the children in Igboland appear to have lost interest in education which is signaling a dangerous trend. There was a time it was like a competition as to which of the states will take the first position in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) ranking of states after the examinations.
“Today, what we hear is that our children are showing negative trends to pursue education or they are interested in getting through fraudulent activities. We call on the governments in Igboland to take action to reverse this unwholesome method before things get worse.
“The ‘Aku Ruo Ulo’ cry is the Igboland to feel the impact of businesses returning to Igboland. This trend has suffered a setback because our sons and daughters appear to believe that investing outside Igboland is the way to go,” he stated.
Unegbu, who maintained that insecurity exists everywhere in the country, noted that there was a need to find a common solution to the issue.
To him, the Federal and state governments have not given insecurity the attention it requires.
He said: “They need to really emphasize on spending money on security, and in doing that they should be able to encourage members of the armed forces to treat people with some respect, intellectual pursuit into fighting insecurity.”
Also speaking at the event, Chris-Asoluka Nkiru,1st Vice President, Otu Oka-Iwu Nigeria, said Igboland has been turned into a killing field where no person old or young is safe.
“It is the responsibility of the government both at the centre and the regions to secure the life and property of the inhabitants but from what happens in Igboland today, we are subjected to extra-judicial killings resulting in people not going out to do their lawful businesses,” she said.