Southeast governors frown against religious violence
February 28, 2006

The Conference of Governors of South-East geo-political zone of Nigeria has condemned unequivocally the wanton destruction of lives and property in parts of the country by some unpatriotic citizens.

The Conference also condemned the reprisal attack in some states of the South-East zone during the crisis and called on their people to remain calm and continue to respect each others feelings since both Islam and Christianity preach peace and love.

In a communique at the end of their one day meeting in Enugu, the governors called on Northern Governors to emulate them in the South-East by providing adequate protection and security to other Nigerians resident in their states.

This, they said, is being done by the governors of the governors of the South East to nip the crisis in the bud, through managing adequate security for Northern indigenes resident in the East and providing them with needed relief materials.

In the communiqué which was read on their behalf by the current Chairman of the Conference and Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chris Ngige, the governors said that they were tired of situations where people from other tribes residing in theNorth were attacked and harassed without any provocation.

They wondered why a cartoon published in far away Denmark could invite such mayhem and crisis in Nigeria and described the development as very unfortunate.

The South-East Governors also deliberated on the March, 2006 National population census and called on their people to participate actively in the exercise and ensure that they were counted so as to, in their words, put a lie to a statistical arrangement that consigns the South East to a third position in national population census.

They stated that by being counted was the only way the people could help give the accurate population figure of the people of the zone.

According to the Chairman, the conference therefore called on the Federal Government to give all the needed logistics to the census officials that would be posted to the zone, to enable them discharge their assignments creditably.

The Governors said that they were putting finishing touches on the additional state to be created from the zone as recommended by the national Political Reform Conference to bring the states in the South-East at par with that in most of the other zones in the country.

According to the Governors, they were now at the stage of fine-tuning the process of the state creation and harmonizing their thoughts with that of the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo before submitting it to the National Assembly for ratification.

The Conference also discussed the current crisis in the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, adding that the report of a committee of the Attorneys-General of the five states that looked into the matter had been received, adding that they needed further clarifications on some issues before submission.

The Governors therefore appealed to all those involved in the matter to sheathe their swords, avoid further press war and give the governors more time to resolve the issue.

For the first time in the past few years, all the Governors of the zone attended the meeting held at the Government House, Enugu.



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