Elders in the Southeast have been urged to publicly denounce the ongoing attacks by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the Southeastern part of the country or else be considered among people responsible for the dastardly act.
Solacebase reports that former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Assembly matters, Alhaji Abdurrahman Sulaiman Kawu Sumaila, who made the call on Wednesday, said until the Southern elites make their definite position known, Nigerians would consider them part and parcel of the attacks being carried out in the southeast by some armed militia.
Sumaila, in a statement he issued in Kano, added that Southern elites should be mindful of their reputations by not only condemning the attacks but also distancing themselves from it, affirming that “it is only when they did this with sincerity that Nigerians will believe their innocence.
“The elites in the southeast should borrow a leaf from their northern counterparts such as Arewa Consultative Forum and Northern Elders Forum, who have been persistently condemning the activities of Boko Haram fighters and bandits in the North. You must clear your names or else, Nigerians will consider you culprits of all the killings and destructions in some Southern states.
“Had it been, the northern elites support the activities of the banditry, Boko Haram and other similar crimes in the north, the story would have been different by now. But they keep on condemning it and calling on the authorises concern to take appropriate measures against the culprits for the peace to reign in the region.”
“Not only the ACF and Northern Elders Forum, if some political and cultural groups in the North can criticise president Buhari on certain national issues, why the southeast elites cannot condemn the attacks in public at least to show their innocence?
“With these atrocities being committed by southeast people on records, how can Nigerians entrust them to govern them? I am sure not a single right-thinking Nigerian will endanger his life to support the candidature of any southeast politician contesting for presidency come 2023 general elections.”
He noted that it has now become clear that the motives behind the attacks was to turn the country into anarchy, regretting that “the perpetrators of the attacks must understand that if the country is turned chaotic, then nobody including the perpetrators can escape. We have no country other than Nigeria, therefore, we must do everything possible to make it peaceful.
The former political aide, however, supported president Buhari recent position on the attacks in the south, saying the president should do everything possible within the ambit of the law to stop killings and destructions not only in the south but in the whole country.
Sumaila, who condemned killings and destruction of security formations in the south, stated that, it was only when there is a peace that Nigeria will prosper. He said peaceful coexistence was the bedrock of every development and progress of a society.
He, therefore, appealed to northern people to continue to exercise patience about the happenings in the south, noting that “The government and Northern elites are aware of the losses you have been counting courtesy of the attacks in the south. Be patient, no condition is permanent. Normalcy will soon be restored to all the crisis-prone areas in the country.