From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu

Pained by the unbridled escalation of insecurity and public safety that result in killings, burning of public facilities, and private properties, leading Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on South East leaders to act now to secure the region.

Commending the leaders for the decisions they took at their last meeting in Enugu on the issue of insecurity, the CSOs said now was time for real action to be taken if they were interested in protecting the region.

They noted that peace, security and public safety were the primary responsibilities of every government all over the world, just as in a democracy, free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections were the foundations for the emergence of legitimate leadership.

But the CSOs regretted that ‘unfortunately, these elements of democracy, good governance, and sustainable development are being threatened in the South East region of Nigeria, particularly, in Anambra State with the rising insecurity and “no election” campaign by agitating groups, and this has escalated since the arrest and detention of their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government of Nigeria.’

The South East leaders they said should as a matter of urgency seek a political solution to the case of Kanu with the Federal Government.

The concerned lead Civil Society Organisations working in partnership with associations and community groups in Anambra State and the South East region, in their statement signed by Okey Onyeka, Civil Rights Concern; Onyeka Okey-Udegbunam, Hope Givers Initiative and Rev Fr Edwin Udoye, Justice Development and Peace/Caritas, expressed dismay at the havoc insecurity was causing the zone.

The CSOs disclosed that after their brainstorming on the dynamics of the crisis and how to resolve the rising violence which could mar the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6, it became obvious for a collaboration of all stakeholders was needed to solve the problem.

Their statement highlighting the civil society recommendations reads in part:

‘Political leadership, the clergy, and church leadership should urgently hold a meeting with the agitating group leaders by virtual or any other means to dissuade them from any further actions that may derail the scheduled Anambra State election on November 6, 2021, and make them understand that their name is at stake as all the violence being committed in the South East now are being framed on them.

‘Encourage and support the town unions and community vigilantes to secure their communities from violence.

‘Dialogue with the federal government to ensure that Nnamdi Kanu is brought to the court on the next court date to douse the tension associated with his none appearance and physical presence in the court because many people are associating the rising violence with his failure to appear in the court at the last court session.

‘To encourage community leadership in every community in the South East region to organise Town Hall Meetings to promote peace, security, public safety, and peaceful elections in Anambra State and the entire South East region. Hold meetings with Anambra State INEC to understand its challenges to know how to support it.’

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Source: news