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Imo now a war zone – Igbo Monarchs, Clerics

On Monday, the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops on Peace and Conflict Resolution expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Imo State.

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“The Igbo nation is shocked that those responsible seem unable to measure the repercussions of their conduct,” they said, lamenting that the state has devolved into a war zone.

“The state of affairs in Imo had resulted to the loss of many lives, property, toxic business climate, and crippling public culture and trust,” they stated in a joint statement signed by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, and Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Chibuzo Opoko.

They said: “The dramatic and condemnable invasion of a place of worship by officers of the Nigeria Police Force on 26th December, 2021 ostensibly to effect the arrest of a former governorship candidate in Imo State has brought to the public consciousness the long-running troubling state of affairs in the state, which has led to the loss of many lives, hundreds of millions of Naira of property, a deterioration of the environment for business and a debilitating poisoning of public culture and trust.

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“Even as we write this statement, a report is breaking of an exchange of gunfire between unknown gunmen and law enforcement officers, which may have left several people dead.

“We, as the clergy, traditional rulers and elders of conscience of Alaigbo, under the auspices of the Joint Body of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops on Peace and Conflict Resolution are compelled to intervene.

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“First, we urge all the political leaders in contestations and their followers to cease and desist from all actions that’ll escalate or compound the situation on the ground in the state.

“Next, we ask for an examination of conscience of the actors in Imo State, FCT, Abuja, or elsewhere. We trust that the Igbo spirit, which guided our intervention in the run up to the recent Anambra State governorship election and resulted in peaceful and salutary outcomes, will lead the key antagonists in Imo State politics to collaborate with us to help reconstruct the social order in Imo to greater civility.”

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