IPOB Stock – Wamakko Asks S’East Leaders to Stop Attacks on Northerners
· Says we’ll stop dousing rising tension in the north
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A former Sokoto State Governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko yesterday challenged the leaders of Southeast to stop the attacks of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on northerners living in their geo-political zone.
Wammako, currently a senator representing Sokoto North, noted that the northern leaders would no longer douse tension among their followers if the attacks on the northerners continued in the Southeast.
In a statement yesterday, Wammako lamented that what was happening in Southeast and South-south regions had transcended beyond genuine expression into a full scale war against Nigeria and a section of its peoples.
He noted that what could have been dismissed, as the action of a few ‘misguided’ youths “is now clearly becoming an agenda for which there is almost a wholesome backing from those who should have cautioned their children and nip the emerging crisis in the bud.”
He stated: “I, like all well-meaning Nigerians, have followed with disbelief, pain and disgust the happenings in the past few months in the Southeast and parts of South-South zones of Nigeria.
“While expressions and legitimate demands fall within the constitutional rights of all citizens in a constitutional democracy, it is sad to note that what we are witnessing today has transcended beyond genuine expression into a full scale war against Nigeria and a section of its peoples.
“As leaders of our own people, we have been under intense pressure over the current situation. We cannot bear it any longer. If leaders from the Southeast feel they can allow their own people to do what they want, we may have no choice than to stop dousing the increasing tension among our own followers.”
The former governor said there was no part of Nigeria without its own share of discomfort and even reservations about the state of the country, saying addressing such challenges required sincere political engagement, not threats and violence.
Besides, according to him, quests for political answers to one’s grievances should never be directed at hapless citizens who are going about their own legitimate business.
“The day the victim decides to pay back the aggressor will not be good for everybody,” he added.
Wamakko lamented that many northerners living peacefully in some states in the Southeast have come under undue harassment lately while a number of them have been murdered in cold blood for simply coming from a section of the country.
Prior to the assassination of Ahmed Gulak last Sunday in Imo State, the former governor observed that tens of northerners have suffered similar fate in the hands of the increasingly emboldened IPOB militants.
Wamakko noted that those killings were largely under-reported perhaps because the victims “are not prominent and partly because of a deliberate culture of silence in a section of the media about what is happening.”
In the past week alone, he alleged there were three incidents of arson and looting against properties belonging to Northern traders travelling in the Southeast.
Wamakko recalled that last weekend, a truck of onions with about 500 bags of the commodity was ransacked by members of the IPOB in a daylight robbery in Owerri.
He added that they sold the onions and ran away with the money before the police could save the other truck they similarly took.
Wamakko recalled that around the same time, two trucks conveying palm oil from Enugu to Kano were intercepted and razed down in Nsukka, for no reason.
He added that a truck delivering livestock “to Anambra was burnt down along with the animals it carried in the streets of Awka. Through all these, as individual leaders and collectively, we have maintained a studied silence by avoiding anything that will further rock the boat.
He said: “Rather, we have been restraining our own people who are victims of these atrocities by preaching patience and peace. Regrettably but curiously, our friends and compatriots, leaders of Igbo extraction, have remained dead silent in the face of increasing assault and effort by their own people to stock a nationwide mayhem.
“For whatever reason it is, I want to loudly call them out to speak up. Silence is no longer acceptable in the face of this clear danger and threat against the country.
“The silence by political leaders and other prominent persons from that part of the country tells us only one thing: Their tacit approval for the activities of the murderous IPOB gangs.”