THE South East Governors Forum has raised alarm over an online news report linking it with a warning to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the military command on the killing of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Urging the Federal Government to ignore the fabrications, the Forum also said that it didn’t hold any emergency meeting on Wednesday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
In a statement Thursday, the governors decried the reports and noted that the deliberate falsehood designed “to undermine the milestone already recorded in their engagement with IPOB leader, Prince Nnamdi Kanu and the entire leadership of IPOB.”
The statement was titled, “Stop Killing IPOB Members, South East Governors Send Strong Warning To Federal Government: A Rebuttal,” and signed by the Director General of the South East Governors Forum Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya and the Director, Media and Communications, Mike Ike Udah.
The full statement reads:
“The attention of the South – East Governors’ Forum has been drawn to false and unfounded news published online by igberetvnews.com to the effect that the South – East Governors did send a strong warning to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging it to “stop killing IPOB members.”
“According to that report, all five South – East governors purportedly met in Abakaliki on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. The story added that His Excellency, Engr. Nweze Dave Umahi, the chairman of the Forum addressed the press after the meeting, “calling on the Federal Government to put to a stop to the incessant killings, brutal torture and unlawful imprisonment of innocent IPOB members by the military in our region”.
“The report further falsely credited His Excellency, Engr. Nweze Dave Umahi with the claim that “the Federal Government is maltreating the region”, while the military and indeed the Chief of Army Staff have rebuffed all the letters, which the South – East Governors had written, requesting the situation be redressed.
“In order to put the records straight, the South – East Governors Forum hereby states as follows:
1. There is no iota of truth in every material particular in the said publication.
2. His Excellency, Engr. Nweze Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South – East Governors Forum, is currently out of the country and was not even in Ebonyi State on the said Wednesday, September 6, 2017 when the alleged emergency meeting of South – East Governors purportedly took place.
3.No South East Governor (or their deputies) attended any meeting, emergency or regular, in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State on the said Wednesday September 6, 2017.
4.The story is not only fabricated, but false in its totality and a figment of the imagination of its writer.
5.Accordingly, the South East Governors condemn in the strongest terms this deliberate falsehood intended to undermine the milestone already recorded in their engagement with IPOB leader, Prince Nnamdi Kanu and the entire leadership of IPOB.
6.South East Governors’ Forum reaffirms its belief in the amicable resolution of all issues especially as it relates to agitations by IPOB.
Since no such meeting ever held, it follows that the South East Governors NEVER at any point in time issued any warning to the Federal Government if Nigeria or its agencies; neither did it write any of its military commands or formations.
“The South East Governors’ Forum therefore urges the Federal Government, its military commands and formations and indeed the general public to disregard in its entirety and totality the said report as it is untrue and unfounded.
“The South East Governors’ Forum DEMANDS the immediate RETRACTION of the false STORY as well as an APOLOGY to be published with the same medium of disinformation that carried the false story.”