The Chairman Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has made a appealed to agitators in the South East to sheath their swords and allow elections to hold in the region.
Chief Iwuanyanwu made the appeal on Thursday at a world press briefing in Owerri, Imo State capital.
He lamented the indiscriminate killing in the region and various parts of the country.
Chief Iwuanyanwu said that in the past few months he has watched with deep grief the amount of innocent blood being shed, property belonging to governments and individuals that have been wantonly destroyed.
Chief Iwuanyanwu observed that the threat by agitators that there will be no elections in Igboland, that politicians participating in the elections will be killed, governors and government houses will be destroyed and that any security agents seen anywhere will be attacked and killed does not augur well for the region.
He disclosed that the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been working tirelessly to ensure the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
He said that they will not rest on their oars until Nnamdi Kanu gets his freedom.
Chief Iwuanyanwu said that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and some of his supporters including Simon Ekpa will attend in person at the Peace Summit or send their representative.
He said that peace is needed in the South East which is what Igbos are known for.
He said that as chairman Council of Elders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, he has summoned an emergency meeting of Ohanaeze Elders where the security situation of the South East was examined.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elders Council Chairman expressed concern over the deteriorating security, social and economic conditions, noting that many school leavers, graduates spend many years looking for employment without success while many businesses have collapsed due to lack of infrastructure.
Chief Iwuanyanwu regretted that for the first time in the history of Igboland, we have witnessed Igbos killing innocent Igbos for no just cause.
He said that when we recall that Igbos lost over two million people during the civil war, there is no reason why we should shed more blood in Igboland.
The elder statesman appealed to the agitators to allow peace to reign by ensuring that the elections in the South East are peaceful, adding that the solution lies in negotiations.
He said that the Elders Council has decided to hold a Peace Summit which will give the youths the opportunity to air their grievances and promised that the issues will be resolved to the best of their ability.
He said that the decision of the elders have been communicated to the Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Chairman Governors’ Forum and the South East Governors so that they will take various steps to arrest the situation.
The Chairman said: “As a father of the youths in Igboland, as the Ahaejiagamba Ndigbo, as grand patron of virtually all youth organizations in Igboland and Nigeria and as somebody who has served Igbos in time of peace and in time of war, I appeal to all concerned to sheath their sword and accept a ceasefire in order to allow elections to take place in South East devoid of any bloodshed”.
He assured the youths that none of them will be victimized for participating at the Peace Summit.