The Industrious People of Eastern Nigeria (IPEN) has called on Igbo people to put an end to the ongoing destruction of lives and property in the region.
It also called on the youths of the region to rise up and defend their various communities against individuals with criminal tendencies whose sole aim is to inflict pain and hardship on the people.
In a statement signed by its South-East cordinator, Nwabueze Okoye, the group condemned the activities of the indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), accusing them of being responsible for the ongoing carnage in the South-Eastern Region of the country.
The group commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Nwike for proscribing IPOB, wondering why many Governors in the South have continued to allow the activities of a terrorist organization already proscribed by the Federal Government in their domain.
In the statement made available to pressmen, the group said:
“It is regrettable that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected.
“We also condemn the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters by members of our armed forces.
“We equally condemn the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatist groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and others who took advantage of the volatile situation to unleash mayhem on people.
“Nothing justifies the attacks on police stations, courts and other government installations.
“Nothing justifies violence against innocent bystanders
“To ummenne anyi Ndi Igbo, remember that we struggled to build our region after the Nigeria-Biafra civil war without support from any group, country or organization.
“Let us not destroy our public buildings as nobody will fix them for us after the carnage
“After each day’s destruction, we will all wake up in the same neighborhood the next morning.
“Let us remember what happened during the last civil war, it started from Lagos but people in the South-East became the biggest casualties.
“We are destroying facilities in our state built with our tax.
“It is very sad that we have allowed statements from a fugitive who has no block to his name anywhere in the world to put the lives, properties and businesses of Igbo people scattered all over Nigeria at risk.
“We call on igbo people in all parts of Nigeria not to engage in any form of violence but mobilize to protect their businesses already endangered by the utterances of mischief makers.
“We use this opportunity to send our condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest
“Finally, we call on Nigerian youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country,” the group said.