Ndigbo, traditionally, are peace-loving people. We cherish and celebrate peace. Though we hate being pushed to the wall, we can give up everything just to entrench peace. We have a sacrosanct respect for human blood as we unapologetically uphold the dictum that it is the prerogative of the Almighty God to give and take life. Suffice it to say that, Ndigbo abhor shedding of innocent human blood.
The recent unabated attacks by unknown gunmen in the southeast, which have claimed the lives of innocent citizens and security agencies, are quite perturbing and worrisome. The daily increase of insecurity and burning of police stations and other state-owned properties, in a region that is traditionally known for calmness and peace, is something that should give every patriotic Igbo person sleepless nights.
It is disturbing, not just because it is an anomaly that contradicts our tradition, but because it is happening at a time we are on aggressive campaign for “Aku ruo uno” – a campaign that is urging the business moguls and technocrats of Igbo speaking states, home and diaspora, to start looking homewards. How can wealthy business moguls begin to look homewards where their investments are not secured? How can they think homewards where they cannot freely visit their businesses and families?
Do we fold our arms and watch our beloved land (Ala Igbo) desecrated with blood and our region turned to a war zone? This time, silence is no more golden! Paraphrasing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, I dare to say, “silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Thus, it is time to speak up and proffer solutions! The continued silence amounts to collaboration with these heinous attacks. Enough is enough!
Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP), having studied and X-rayed the ongoing attacks and reprisals, has found the need for an urgent roundtable discussions between Ndigbo Youth and Security agencies.
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 Southeast 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.
It is on this note, therefore, that we have decided to convene 2 days summit tagged “NDIGBO YOUTH SECURITY SUMMIT”. This summit is tagged Ndigbo Youth Security Summit because we believe that if all well meaning Ndigbo Youth should rise up against this hydra-headed monster that is brooding in our zone, it will be annihilated forthwith. No body and no force can match the united force of entire Ndigbo Youth, home and diaspora. Thus, the summit is for the Youth, by the Youth, and with the Youth.
The security summit will avail the Youth ample opportunity to interface with all the security agencies, during which any grievances from both parties shall be addressed. It is an opportunity to listen to the Youth Leaders from the grassroots (Community Youth Leaders) whom we believe know every Youth from their communities; the good, the bad and the ugly.
These Community Youth Leaders can proffer solutions to the government and the security agencies on the best way to eradicate these enemies of our land. It is also an opportunity to create good rapport between the security agencies and the Youth of Southeast, especially the community Youth leaders. The Youth shall be sensitized on the best security tips and the best lawful ways to tackle any act of insecurity. There are innumerable benefits embedded in this summit, both on the part of the security agencies and on the part of Ndigbo.
We are calling on all well meaning Ndigbo to support this forthcoming security summit. Restoration of peace in our states should be our paramount concern as peace breeds development. In the absence of peace, no one is safe.
We have officially written to all the security agencies in Nigeria to be part of this security summit, geared towards restoring peace in the Igbo speaking states and eschewing of unsavoury attacks on security personnel and their properties. We believe that all the security agencies will be part of this summit as its outcome will ease a lot of burden on them and will give a facelift to the security agencies, especially the ones whose image has been bastardized.
The Security Summit is slated for the month of June and will take place in Enugu state. It is time to give peace a chance; it is time to work for peace. Remember, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, says Edmund Burke.
Rt. Hon. Rikki Nwajiofor, Cmi.
Ndigbo Youth Parliament (NYP).