The attention of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political youth group in the entire South East geopolitical zone was recently drawn to a release from the State Directorate of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB through Mr. Chika Edoziem where the group threatened to put the entire South East region under lockdown on Mondays until its leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is released unconditionally by the federal government.
While COSEYL understands that right to self-determination is a property of the late 1940s Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which every human group is entitled, and to which Nigeria is a signatory together with other instruments of international law like the African Human and Peoples Rights (Banjul Declaration of 1981), the Coalition does not see economic wisdom in shutting down business and work-related activities on Mondays beginning from August 9, 2021 – which the group had labelled “Ghost Mondays” – as virtually over half the population of Southeast and by extension Ndigbo depend on daily income to feed their families and dependent ones.
COSEYL urges the group to, in the interest of the Southeast region, review its latest policy directive given the current harsh economic realities biting hard on not only Ndigbo but the entire nation at such excruciating moment. Shutting down the region and economic activities thereof does nobody or group any good and is therefore not a win-win case at a time like this. While COSEYL is in support of the release of Nnamdi Kanu from the DSS custody to allow him enjoy his rights and face his trial, it condemns the way Mazi Kanu, whom the federal government last month “intercepted”, was smuggled into Nigeria from Kenya against international laws and conventions. COSEYL calls on IPOB not to allow its activities to jeopardize the region in which case the goal of the group would amount to an own goal.
Following the latest declaration by IPOB’s State Directorate, COSEYL observed a heavy deployment of security personnel to the Southeast region. As a group with records and documentations of all the happenings in the region since the activities of the so-called unknown gunmen, COSEYL is aware of forced disappearance and killings of some innocent youth of the region in places like Orlu, Owerri and elsewhere. As a youth group, we are against any initiative that endangers further the youthful population of Southeast – as previous operations like Python Dance and the like had shown. What Alaigbo needs now is any drive or agenda that accelerates growth and development of the region above all others than what may escalate tension therein.
Again, policies like that may hinder survival of many household in Alaigbo given that many, within the poor population, who live from hand to mouth (on daily income) do not have much to feed on through the weekends as they do not work, and so adding Monday to their days of inactivity could be counterproductive!
COSEYL calls on the federal government to allow Nnamdi Kanu access to his lawyers as the court has ordered and stop holding him incommunicado. The concern about his health, condition of living and everything about his welfare should not be compromised in a bid to break his spirit as his agitation is within the ambit of extant public international laws, codes, customs and conventions.
Finally, COSEYL urges every stakeholder in the region to see that peace and peace alone is advanced in the region at all times. Alaigbo is an industrious area, a business haven and so any activity that hinders these may deny the region and its people their economic survival in a time of hardship such as we are. Self-annihilation has never won any cause in the history of mankind.
Hon. Goodluck Ibem
Comrade Kanice Igwe