Vice President Kashim Shettima yesterday hinted on the federal government’s firm resolve to end the reign of terror in the South East region by those he described as self-serving criminals and certain persons taking advantage of the security situation to foster their dangerous political agenda.
According to him, the president has been worried about the economic devastation inflicted on the South East geopolitical zone by non-state actors since he assumed office and is determined to deploy all available resources to eliminate the purveyors of falsehoods and propaganda that have become weapons against Nigeria’s unity.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Stanley Nkwocha, Senator Shettima disclosed this in Bende, Abia State, during the unveiling of the Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) by the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu.
Before the unveiling ceremony, President Tinubu was conferred with the traditional title of Omeziri Igbo 1 at the grand civic reception held in honour of the deputy speaker.
Vice President Shettima who received the title on behalf of the president was also conferred with the traditional title of Enyioma Ndigbo by the chairman of Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Linus Mbah.
Delivering his speech titled; “Why We are all Umunna,” VP Shettima said, “His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is acutely aware that our commitment to Nigeria’s future remains incomplete as long as we grapple with the sinister operations of economic saboteurs who masquerade as advocates for the Ndi-Igbo.
“That’s why he’s determined to utilise all available resources to ensure that the peace we’re establishing in this region is not cosmetic, and we can’t guarantee it unless all of us see through the falsehoods and propaganda that have become weapons against our unity.”
Shettima noted that the gory activities of the criminals holding the South East captive were self-serving and do not in any way represent the interests of Ndi-Igbo and the entire country.
He said the terror groups that have held the South East to ransom are not a creation of the people of the region, or of Nigerians from other parts of the country.
“The problem we are here to solve as a community, as an Umunna, is a creation of self-serving criminals who do not represent the interests of the Ndi-Igbo and Nigerians. Mr. President knows this better than all of us, and that’s why he has never held any group accountable for the infractions of law-breaking individuals who identify as their members. This, I believe, is the democracy we have all chosen,” he stated.
Pointing out that the criminals disrupting the peace in the South-East were doing so in connivance with “forces exploiting the situation for dangerous political agenda,” the vice president said attempts to undo the hard work of the nation’s heroes past will fail.
He maintained however that the catastrophic situation can’t be reversed unless the government involves the people whom he said are the ears, legs and mouths in the region.
He commended the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and convener of the peace initiative, Hon. Kalu, for his efforts to restore lasting peace in the South East region, just as he said the event attested to the profound understanding that no one comprehends the experience of a community better than the people themselves.
Earlier, Rt. Hon. Kalu said his goal for initiating the peace project was to foster peace, unity and development in the region. He said the project also aims at promoting reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts.
Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, said, “We the people of the South East hereby declare that peace is what we stand for as a region.
“We declare peace and prosperity, we declare peace for progress, we stand for peace in the South East as a catalyst that will drive growth in all sectors of the economy and rekindle the confidence of future generations. We declare that peace is better.”
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