From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Coalition of South-East Professional Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND) has lampooned the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu and personnel of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) over recent attacks on some Fulani herdsmen in Imo State.
CSEPNND National President Prof Madumere Chika, in a statement argued that the region is not known to be hostile to strangers and warned that the profiling of Hausa pastoralists as bandits would paint the South-East region in a bad light, especially now that it is agitating to produce the next president.
Commending the Hausa community in the South-East for maintaining a peaceful disposition despite violent attacks and abuses, Chika appealed to people of the region to reject Kanu and the ESN and they were not fighting for their interest.
He further called on security personnel to find thes perpetrators of the attack to serve as a deterrent to others.
The statement reads:
‘Concerned by the despicable and reprehensible activities of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his uninformed followers, we rise to condemn all that this son of Ndigbo stands for, especially his antagonistic disposition towards the government of Nigeria.
‘We hold that Kanu, in action and deed, does not represent the collective interest of the South East, hence should be disregarded and seen as inconsequential.
‘We are particularly pained that this disposition is painting the Igbos in bad light, especially among undiscerning members of the public, who may not understand that Kanu’s disposition is self-serving and criminal in nature, and not altruistic, as he wants the world to believe.
‘We are further using this platform to distance ourselves and the Igbos in general, from the threats issued to peaceful Fulani herders in parts of the South-East, as we have always maintained that the freedom to reside and conduct legitimate business in any part of the country, is sacrosanct.
‘To our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers all over the world, we challenge you all to rise in unison to condemn all that Mazi Kanu does, propagates and stands for.
‘How can a region known for its entrepreneurial spirit and republican nature, with huge investments in almost every part of Nigeria, allow a fugitive, who is apparently being sponsored by external forces, to continually cast us in such a bad light?
‘Furthermore, civil and military authorities are enjoined to activate relevant sections of the law to clamp down on IPOB members, who have constituted themselves into a new terrorist group that goes by the name Eastern Security Network.
‘We are alarmed that this group would be allowed freedom of action, thereby constituting themselves into a parallel security organisation.
‘The need to deploy all lawful force to dismantle this contraption has become urgent and compelling, considering their violent attacks on both civilians and security agencies, with attendant deaths and destruction of property.
‘While it is a known fact that the people of South-East have been marginalised and are still marginalised we appeal to our people to remain calm and continue to push for their rights through lawful channels.’