The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has called on the federal government to take more urgent steps in disbanding militias, armed groups in Imo state and the southeast.
CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, made the call in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, where he emphasized that no group had the power to hold innocent people to ransom.
He said, “We call on the Federal Government to take immediate steps to disband all militias and armed groups in Imo and other parts of the South-East by resort to the use of force if needs be, to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties”.
Suleiman further called on all Northerners who are resident in Imo state or any troubled part in the southeast to leave immediately for their own safety .
According to him, “We reiterate the call on Northerners living in Imo State and all unfriendly parts of the South-East to consider leaving the region for the sake of their lives and properties.
“The call on the Northerners to return to the North was borne out of the realisation that their lives had been put at risk due to the recent actions perpetrated in Imo.
“It is also worries about their well-being and the conviction that their safety can no longer be guaranteed and we would rather have them back in areas where their safety is guaranteed. The bottom line is that their safety is far more important than their stay there. This is a country we all wish to keep together but not at the expense of other sections”.
CNG further demanded for the establishment of a judicial enquiry that would be saddled with the responsibility of determining the quantum loss of properties by northerners in the Imo attacks with a view to paying compensation due to each of the victims.
“We call on the Inspector General of Police and the Nigerian Army Headquarters to interrogate the extent of involvement of their personnel in the commission of this dastardly act against peaceful everyday northerners in Imo State” the statement added.
The Coalition noted that, “While the North continues to support other Nigerians particularly the Igbo, to benefit from its tolerance and accommodation, it will also demand other Nigerians to note that the laws of the land demand that every Nigerian lives and earns his legitimate living in any part of Nigeria without discrimination or molestation”.