Soludo, S East bishops and monarchs decide to end sit-at-home – The Sun Nigeria
From Obinna Odogwuawka
the The Anambra State government, religious and traditional leaders in the South Eastern region have called for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
They also warned “all criminal elements posing as working under the instructions of IPOB or the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to cease and desist from any further acts of violence and criminality or face the relentless force of law and order”.
This followed the IPOB’s continued denial of responsibility for the attacks in the southeast.
This was in a statement issued by the government and the Joint Body of the Council of Traditional Leaders and South Eastern Bishops/Archbishops (Joint Body) on Peace and Conflict Resolution.
The document was endorsed by the Chairman of Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council (ANSTRC) and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe; and Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, Archbishop Valerian Okeke.
The other signatories are Anambra State Government Secretary, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu; the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Enugu State, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, and the Very Reverend (Dr) Chibuzo Opoko who is Secretary, Representatives of Archbishops and Bishops.
The joint body said the appeal comes as a follow-up to their earlier demand of October 2021 for the restoration of genuine peace and normality in the South East region on the basis of justice. , fairness, fairness and respect; and at the invitation of the new Governor of Anambra, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, during his inauguration on March 17, 2022, to all non-state actors to question their objectives and methods.
“We recognize that there is nationwide agitation for the restructuring of inter-ethnic and intergovernmental relations in Nigeria, with a view to greater inclusion.
“We therefore share the genuine concern over the political and economic marginalization of the geopolitical area of southeastern Nigeria, a major element of the IPOB turmoil.
“We call for constructive and continued dialogue from all parties as a more lasting solution to overcome the challenge and win the hearts and minds of the people.
“We add our voices to the call for the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu by the federal government in order to ease the current tensions in the Southeast and create an atmosphere of collaboration for a constructive resolution of the problems.
“We call on all those who have taken up arms, convinced that their demands can only be met through armed struggle, to lay down their arms. The government and good people of Anambra hereby offer you the olive branch for you all to return.
“The Anambra State Government hereby pledges to train, rehabilitate and empower you to contribute to the development of our homeland. The centers where our young people can register for help will be announced shortly.
“We call on all injured, wronged and victims of insecurity in Alaigbo over the past three years to come forward and cooperate with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which will be inaugurated by the Anambra State Government next week. to investigate the remote areas and immediate causes of the unrest, document and examine the circumstances surrounding the killings in the Southeast, and recommend the path to lasting solutions.
“We declare Monday, April 4, 2022 a Day of Prayer for Peace for Alaigbo. We implore Ndi-Anambra and all religious congregations to join in this important day of prayer.
“It will take place at the premises of Cathedrals, Churches and Houses of Prayer across Alaigbo at 11:00 a.m. and we enjoin the faithful wherever you are in Nigeria or abroad to pause and join in fellowship then that we seek the face of our father.
“The Joint Body expects that the conclusion of the prayer session will mark the end of the sit-at-home in Anambra State in particular and the South East region in general.
“The march toward peace and the restoration of normalcy to our society and economy requires the collective action of all of God’s people,” the statement said.