The Governor of Abia State Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has identified dialogue as a panacea to resolving issues around agitations of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra.
Ikpeazu, said that despite the issues raised against the leader of the IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and his followers peaceful engagement is the best way out.
The Governor revealed that there were salient issues in what the group is talking about that require the attention of the Federal Government.
Ikpeazu gave the advice on Sunday in an interview with Vanguard.
He said: “We must engage with IPOB. Yes, we must find a way to talk about the issues at stake. These people are not as bad as the ones in the Northeast or northwest who go to schools and seize the whole population of teachers and students or invade the mosques and churches and kidnap all the worshippers and nobody can find them until ransom is paid.
“I believe that there is some ideological sense in what these people in the Southeast are saying. There is something to listen to even though it is criminal to take up arms against the state. There is a message they are trying to pass in the process. We need confidence building among ourselves rather than use words that we should not use even as leaders. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder but the solution is not too difficult to be resolved.”
Ikpeazu said when the IPOB gives sit-at-home order; the governors are unable to counter the order effectively because they do not have control over Federal police, which are neither adequate nor well equipped to deal with security challenges.
He said further, “The problem is further compounded by the fact that there is proliferation of small arms in the hands of people who should not have them. We also have ill-equipped, inadequate and underfunded police system in the land.
“If you call governors the chief security officers of their states and they cannot determine the number of policemen they can deploy and the kind of equipment to use, then it becomes extremely difficult for governors to take control of security issues in the South East. The Southeast governors are handicapped but we are trying our best”. Source Vanguard.