S'East Gov­er­nors Meet With Nwabueze, Nnamdi Kanu...

Re­solve to have fur­ther di­a­logue with IPOB

THISDAY - - FRONT PAGE - Page 46

Gov­er­nors of the South-east geopo­lit­i­cal states rose from a closed-door meet­ing with the leader of the Indige­nous Peo­ple of Bi­afra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in Enugu yes­ter­day, vow­ing to en­gage the pro-Bi­afran group in “fur­ther meet­ings and di­a­logue”in or­der to re­solve their issues am­i­ca­bly.

The meet­ing also had renowned con­sti­tu­tional lawyer, Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN), and El­liot Uko of Igbo Youth Move­ment (IYM) in at­ten­dance.

The meet­ing which took place at the Gov­ern­ment House, Enugu, had Gov­er­nors Ifeanyi Ug­wuanyi of Enugu State and Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Chair­man of the South-east Gov­er­nor’s Fo­rum, as well as Dr Nkem Okeke, Deputy Gov­er­nor of Anam­bra State, who rep­re­sented Gov­er­nor Wil­lie Obiano in at­ten­dance.

The Imo State Gov­er­nor, Rochas Oko­rocha, and his Abia State coun­ter­part, Okezie Ik­peazu, were said to be out of the coun­try.

In a three-para­graph com­mu­nique read to jour­nal­ists at the end of the meet­ing by Umahi, the gov­er­nors said they de­lib­er­ated on the de­mands of IPOB and noted their con­cerns ac­cord­ingly.

They how­ever agreed that the de­mands be­ing made by IPOB would not be ab­so­lute, pledg­ing to en­gage Kanu and the en­tire lead­er­ship of his group to fur­ther meet­ings with a view to quick­en­ing the res­o­lu­tions of all issues.

The trio of Kanu, Nwabueze and Uko did not speak with jour­nal­ists as they sim­ply walked away after the meet­ing as the gov­er­nors went back to con­tinue with their meet­ing.

Though not con­tained in their com­mu­nique, sources told THISDAY that the meet­ing also looked into the re­ported plans by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to get the court to re­voke his bail con­di­tions in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate his re-ar­rest. They were said not to have taken a po­si­tion on the mat­ter.

Sev­eral groups, in­clud­ing the apex Igbo so­cio-cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Move­ment for the Ac­tu­al­i­sa­tion of the Sov­er­eign State of Bi­afra (MASSOB) and the Igbo Lead­ers of Thought, have all ex­pressed their op­po­si­tion to any at­tempt to re-ar­rest Kanu.

The gov­er­nors later went into another closed door meet­ing with the lead­er­ship of the apex Igbo so­cio-cul­tural or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by the Pres­i­dent Gen­eral, Chief John Nnia Nwodo.

Other no­table Igbo lead­ers at the meet­ing in­clude for­mer Gov­er­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), Prof Chuk­wuma Soludo, for­mer Deputy Gov­er­nor of Ebonyi State, Dr Chigozie Ogbu and other mem­bers of the Ohanaeze eco­nomic team.

They how­ever did not brief jour­nal­ists at the end of meet­ing as Gov­er­nor Umahi dis­closed that the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Fo­rum, Prof Si­mon Or­tu­anya, would han­dle the brief­ing.

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