SOUTH EAST governors have arranged to meet with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on the alleged clash with some Igbo youths speculated to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Umuahia.
The meeting billed for Friday September 15, was at the instance of the COAS.
A statement, Monday, signed by the Director-General of the
South East Governors’ Forum, Prof Simon Uchenna Ortuanya pointed out that a seven man panel has been set up to investigate the clash and present its report at the day of the meeting.
According to Ortuanya, the governors of the zone were desirous of ascertaining from all sides regarding the clash and that “the alleged condemnation of the youths or the military by the governors had not arisen.
“As leaders, the governors want to be fully informed from both sides before they take a definite approach towards solving any problem.”
The DG explained that the presence of the military in the zone was not targeted at any agitating youths but to “curtail the rising wave of kidnapping, armed robbery, public execution of innocent citizens in the zone especially in worship centres and the violence between South East states and their neighbours.”
The text of the statement reads:
“THE attention of the secretariat of South East Governors’ Forum has been drawn to the online media reports especially Naija. com, alleging that South East Governors’ Forum has taken a position on the issue of the presence of the Military in the South East and wish to state as follows that:
“Some of the governors, including the Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Nweze David Umahi, are on an agricultural economic summit abroad, but have cut short their mission in order to hold an emergency meeting to address all security issues in the zone.
“The governors are in contact with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on the alleged clash with some youths, and the COAS has volunteered to have a meeting to discuss the issue with the South East Governors on Friday, September 15.
“The alleged condemnation of youths or military by South East Governors has not arisen.
“As leaders, the governors want to be fully informed from both sides before they take a definite approach towards solving any problem.
“We therefore request for calm and call for confidence in the ability of the governors to resolve all issues amicably.
“The governors are in touch with the Military leadership who have stated that their presence in the South East is to curtail the rising wave of kidnapping, armed robbery, public execution of innocent citizens in the zone especially in worship centres and the violence between South East states and their neighbours and has nothing to do with the agitation of some South East youths.
“We appeal for calm while we await the meeting of September 15.
“The South East governors wish to state that they have set up a seven man committee to investigate the alleged clash between the military and the youths to report on the September 15 when the governors will be meeting
“The South East governors assure every citizen of Nigeria and residents of in the zone that they will not suffer any molestation from any group or individuals.”