Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, has challenged political leaders from the south-eastern part of Nigeria to speak up in condemnation of the violence in the region.
Wamakko, a former governor of Sokoto State, insisted that their silence could be interpreted as subtle support for criminal gangs in the region.
The Senator made this known in a statement issued on Saturday.
Recall that unknown gunmen have been terrorizing the south-eastern states in recent weeks, killing security personnel and attacking government establishments.
A former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, was also killed last Sunday.
The statement read partly, “Prior to the assassination of Ahmed Gulak last Sunday in Imo, tens of our people have suffered a similar fate in the hands of the increasingly emboldened IPOB militants.
“In the past week alone, there have been three incidents of arson and looting against properties belonging to Northern traders travelling in the South-East. 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. They sold the onions and ran away with the money before the police could save the other truck they similarly took.
“Through all these, as individual leaders and collectively, we’ve maintained a studied silence by avoiding anything that will further rock the boat. Rather, we’ve 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 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.
“As leaders of our own people, we’ve been under intense pressure over the current situation. We can’t bear it any longer. If leaders from the South-East feel they can allow their own people to do what they want, we may have no choice but to stop dousing the increasing tension among our own followers.”