Igbo Traditional Heads and Clergymen To Meet Over Civil/Political Unrest in Imo

The South East Council of Traditional Rulers and the Representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops on Peace and Conflict Resolutions said Imo has become a war zone and the Igbo nation is appalled that those responsible seem unable 
to gauge the consequences of their conduct. 
In a statement signed by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Nnaemeka A Achebe, CFR
mni, Obi of Onitsha
and Methodist Archbishop of Umuahia, Archbishop Chibuzo Raphael Opoko, TFG, DOB, JP on behalf of the group of leaders,
 the tensions, violence and failing law and order situation have resulted in a significant number of deaths, including those of traditional rulers, a considerable number of missing persons, and the abduction of scores of youth presumably by law enforcement and non-state actors. 
The statement captioned “IMO POLITICIANS MUSTDE-ESCALATE HOSTILITIES TO SAVE IMO STATE” posited that the dramatic and condemnable invasion of a place of worship by officers of the Nigeria Police Force on 26 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.
According to Igwe Nnaemeka and Archbishop Opoko, “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”. 
The leaders pointed out that many attribute this to the prevailing political differences in the State. 
They maintained that these arrested and kidnapped young men are said to be held in concentration camp conditions.
The statement read in parts, “This state of affairs in Imo State, blamed largely on a few politicians of the State and their cohorts, constitute an assault on the dignity and well-being of Ndi Imo and the Igbo nation. “It 
is unacceptable and must be brought to a speedy resolution”.
“To pursue one’s political interest to the detriment of the interest of the people that one seeks to 
serve violates the essence of the Igbo way and good leadership”. 
As such, the statement called on all the 
gladiators, requesting that they note that the ethos of Ndi Igbo is steeped in ‘egbe belu ugo 
ebelu’. “We know what fate is cast on the one that does not allow the other to perch”.
“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 
They urged all the political leaders in contestations and their followers to cease and desist from all actions that will escalate or compound the situation on the ground in the State to cease violence. 
The Traditional Rulers and Clergymen asker for an examination of conscience of the actors in Imo State, FCT, Abuja, or elsewhere.
Other parts of the statement said “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”.
The Traditional Rulers and Clergymen therefore proposed to immediately commence meetings with the Governor of Imo State, the past Governors, the former Governorship candidates, and elders of the State to scope the problem and proffer a solution.

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