Elder statesmen from three geopolitical zones of southern Nigeria have expressed support for Federal Government’s anti-graft war with a call on Nigerians to also support the initiative.
The elder statesmen, under the aegis of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, made their position known in a communique they issued at the end of their two-day meeting on the state of the nation in Umuahia on Tuesday.
The group demanded that the anti-corruption fight “should be total and not selective”, while discouraging the use of plea bargain to settle corruption charges.
A former Minister in the First Republic, Chief Uwazulike Amechi, who was the Chairman of the session of the expanded Council of Elders and Management Committee of the group, read the 10-point communique.
Amechi urged President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference “without further delay”.
He also charged the Federal Government to use negotiations rather than force in dealing with the Niger Delta agitators and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra in order to restore peace in the area.
He urged the president to order the immediate release of the leader of the Independent People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and “other prisoners of conscience” in obedience to the orders of the court.
The group kicked against the bill on grazing reserves in the country, and urged the National Assembly to reject it’s passage.
Amechi condemned the activities of suspected herdsmen, especially the wanton destruction of lives and property in different parts of the country, and called on security agencies to deal decisively with the menace.
He also urged the southern state governors “to follow the Ekiti model” in dealing with the menace, “without rancour”.
The chairman of the session called on the president to take urgent steps to redress the “lopsidedness” in the distribution of projects and Federal Government’s appointments to ensure equity, justice and fairness.
He opposed the Federal Government’s proposal to sale the national assets and advocated more pragmatic economic policies to tackle the current economic recession in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) reports that the communique was signed by Amechi along with Chief Edwin Clark and Bishop Emmanuel Gbonigi (represented by Sen. Fermi Okurounmu), as co-chairmen of the session and leaders of the South South and South West delegations to the meeting, respectively.
The meeting was attended by former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, former governor of Anambra, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Nigerian Ambassador to U.S, Prof. George Obiozor, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Sen. Bassey Henshaw, Mrs Josephine Anenih, among other prominent Nigerians.