Mbaise USA, a group of Mbaise people living in the United States and Mbaise Leadership Forum, another group of Mbaise sons and daughters living across the globe, have expressed sadness at the escalation of violence, loss of lives, and destruction of property in the South East.
“Recent events in Imo State and Mbaise have been difficult to watch” but “we sincerely hope that peace will soon be restored,” the groups said, and urged Ndigbo to “set our sights higher than mere survival.”
Killings are now rampant in the South East, with reports of security forces shooting youths at sight for just no cause or arresting them at gatherings and taking them away for execution.
This is reportedly based on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.
Last week, Buhari’s tweet in reference to the civil war was deleted by Twitter. Two days later, he banned the social media platform in Nigeria.
“All of us are united by our shared purpose to live in peace and security and to go about our legitimate activities without let or hindrance. And we desire to be treated with fairness and justice,” Mbaise USA and Mbaise Leadership Forum said in a joint statement.
The statement, signed by Mbaise USA President, S.O. Echendu, and Mbaise Leadership Forum Moderator, Chris Ohanele, insisted that “the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens cannot be taken for granted. And so, we have the right to demand them.
“But on the various possible ways to achieve the purpose, and to make our just demands, reasonable people can disagree without resorting to violence.”
The groups said they welcome all peaceful initiatives aimed at securing the lives and property of law-abiding citizens whose lives have been significantly impacted by the unrests and general insecurity.
“Social media should be used responsibly and not as a tool to cause panic. It should not be used to post hateful propaganda and incendiary comments.”
In the face of a common threat to our security, the group stressed, “it is necessary that we stay united even as we may have different points of views. We must avoid the temptation to turn on one another.
“Given the Nigerian geopolitical reality in which we are so tenuously situated, our strength at this moment lies in our ability to exercise caution and restraint. This may well be a winning strategy for survival.