The rising insecurity in the country has become a worrisome and perturbing saga that has triggered acute sleepless nights for so many concerned citizens. South East of Nigeria, which was once adjudged the most peaceful region, has been infected with this cancerous monster called insecurity. In the recent time, several killings of innocent citizens and security personnel have been recorded while so many police stations have been set ablaze in the region.
In a bid to find a lasting panacea to this menace, Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), convened a security summit in Enugu, on Wednesday 28th July 2021. The summit tagged, Ndigbo Youth Security Summit, was held at Toscana Hotel Enugu and was highly attended by Youth Leaders, Security Agencies, Voluntary Uniform Organizations, Government Officials and Appointees, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, highly profiled Resource Persons, State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, various Youth organizations, numerous students and other personalities.
In his address, the Honorable Speaker of the Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, began with observing a minute silence in homage of all the fallen citizens and security personnel since the eruption of insecurity in the South East and Nigeria at large. He stated that the security summit, themed “Nipping Insecurity in the Bud via Dialogue and Sensitization”, was organized as a means of charting a way forward in restoring peace in the South East, among other objectives. According to him;
“In the spirit of commiseration, I humbly request for your one minute silence in homage to all those who lost their lives since the inception of insecurity in the South East and Nigeria at large, especially our gallant officers who died serving our fatherland. May the dead enjoy blissful rest, amen.
“Today, we have all gathered here, as convened by Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), to dialogue and chart a way forward in proffering solutions to the menace of insecurity that has bedevilled our beloved South East and our dear Nation at large.
“As a distinctive Youth body in the South East, we are so worried about the rising insecurity in our region, a region that was widely acclaimed for calmness and tranquillity. The unabated murder of innocent citizens, in a broad day, and continued attacks on the security agencies cum destruction of their properties and other state-owned properties, has discarded sleep from our eyes. It is quite perturbing, not just because it is an anomaly that contradicts our tradition, also because it is happening at a time we are on aggressive campaign for “Akuruo uno” – a campaign that is urging the business moguls and technocrats of Igbo speaking states, home and diaspora, to start looking homewards.
“For us, it is time to come to a roundtable for veritable discussions on how to proffer lasting solutions to these menaces. No party is enjoying this oddity, neither the security agencies nor Ndigbo, except the enemies of the nation and sons of perdition. The indubitable fact is that, if we do not nip this monster in the bud, posterity will not forgive us for the impending consequences. The foreseen and unforeseen consequences of these attacks and reprisals are not in any way in the interest of Igbo speaking states. There is no gainsaying the fact that there is never a good war, just as there is never a bad peace. The insurgency in the Northeast of Nigeria exacerbated sequel to the fact that it was not nipped in the bud. Can we afford to watch our beloved South East turn to “a no man’s land”? There is an urgent need to heed to our idiom, which advises us to remove the hand of the monkey in the pot of soup before it turns to a human hand.
“This Security Summit is intended to bring the Youth of South East together to;
“a.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to have strong belief in the unity of this Nation, even while we agitate and clamour for equity and fairness in federal appointments and developments.
“b.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to collaborate with the security agencies in combating insecurity. We need to sensitize ourselves and understand the fact that if the incessant attacks on the security personnel succeed in taking them off our region, it will be a direct invitation to anarchy and a leeway for hoodlums to perpetuate their mayhem in this region, unhindered.
“c.) Sensitize ourselves on the need to be law abiding and employ lawful approach in combating insecurity and addressing our grievances.
“d.) Sensitize ourselves on the paramount need to restore peace and tranquillity in our beloved South East, which will attract developments. No Investor would wish to invest in a crisis-ridden region. We need to know that insecurity scares good spirited sons and daughters of the soil away from looking homewards.
“e.) Sensitize ourselves on the grievous disadvantages and consequences of beating war drums and heating up the polity. We should learn from the traumatic experience of Rwanda and the ongoing heartrending war in South Sudan. There has never been a joyful war just as there is never a bad peace.
“f.) Sensitize ourselves on the need for peaceful co-existence with the Youth of other ethnic nationalities. We need to understand that we fare better when we live in peace with other Youth of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. As a distinct people who thrive better outside our region, there is need to learn to dwell in harmony with others.
“g.) Sensitize ourselves on the fact that destruction of state-owned properties amounts to economic sabotage, as the fund that will be used in reconstructing destroyed and damaged buildings cum properties could be channelled towards Youth development in our region.”
Hon. Nwajiofor berated the security personnel who engage in acts that portray the security agencies as foes instead of friends and urged the security agencies to always uphold rules of engagement while combating insecurity, as he beckoned on the Youth of South East to refrain from associating with any unlawful sect in the region. He stated;
“As I beckon on the Youth of South East, to remain law abiding and avoid associating with any unlawfully created sect, I plead with the security personnel to always remember the rules of engagement while combating insecurity. It is disheartening to note that some bad eggs in the security agencies, who are hell-bent on giving our gallant security agencies bad image, are acting outside the rules of engagement. Security personnel should desist from actions that can depict them as Foes instead of Friends. The Youth can only collaborate with the security personnel when they are seen as friends. Ndigbo Youth are lovers of peace and, if given sufficient sense of belonging, will collaborate with security agencies in fishing out the enemies of our land.”