A group of elderly Igbo women under the auspices of Credible Igbo Women Initiative (CIWI) has expressed concern over incessant killings and the worsening insecurity situations in Igbo land.
The group, in a statement on Thursday by its principal officers and copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, South East Governors Forum and civil societies, condemned the incessant destruction of government properties, especially killing of unarmed Ndigbo by security agents in the process of searching for culprits of arson and brigandage, militarization and ‘threat’ by the Federal Government to apply maximum force in specifically dealing with the problem of insecurity in Igbo land.
The Igbo women appealed to the Buhari-led government to, as a matter of urgency, bring to book insurgents and agents of destruction in the region.
They also urged the government to compensate those whose farms were affected by herders’ invasion to lessen the negative effect on them, and asked for inclusion of youths in the government’s programme.
They urged the Federal Government to be open minded in handling their children’s requests bearing in mind that they represent the vestiges of the civil war.
The Igbo women demanded for a ninety (90) days moratorium of cessation of hostilities between the Federal Government and Igbo youths to enable dialogue and afford them the opportunity to respectfully present their grievances to the Buhari government.
The group, in a communiqué issued in lieu of the national press conference on peace in Igbo land in Lagos on Thursday, demanded resolutions from President Buhari and Southeast governors as follows:
“On the destruction of public assets, it appealed to the Federal Government to identity, expose and bring the culprits to justice as quickly as possible.
“It is with grave concern that we draw the attention of the Federal Government to the callous manner in which mothers and daughters are raped and killed in our farms by herders thereby degrading our humanity and leaving us with a sense of stigmatization and attendant moral burdens, having lost our livelihood to herders invasion of our farms and destruction of farm produce, our hope lies in government to compensate or ameliorate our losses through targeted policy engagements as is won’t to be done in civilised societies.
“The neglect of the youths over the years through lack of employment, social support, financial incentives, scholarships and skill support schemes may have resulted in today’s youth restiveness, belligerence and inordinate behaviours in response to helplessness.
“Having recorded much widowhood in recent past in Igbo land as a result of insecurity in Nigeria with reference to our husbands killed in battle fields in service of our country, some killed by security agencies knowingly and unknowingly in chase of bandits and others killed through kidnappings for ransom that they could not afford and got killed.
“We subscribe to live in one equitable, justifiable, united, peaceful and egalitarian Nigeria where everyone will have freedom to aspire to fruitful life as against the calls for secession.
“Having witnessed the Nigeria/Biafra internecine civil war of 1967 to 1970, we as mothers are saying: NEVER AGAIN IN OUR LIFETIME SHALL THE BLOOD OF ANYONE BE SHED IN NIGERIA.”