Former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, at the weekend, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to engage traditional leaders and other leaders of thought from South East to mediate in discussions with those seeking self determination for the Republic of Biafra .
Kalu said such discussions have become imperative because negotiation is an essential ingredient of democracy .
Speaking to journalists at the weekend on arrival from the United Kingdom at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Kalu said engagement would be the best way of resolving the lingering agitation for self determination by members of the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra ( MASSOB) .
He said though , the agitators have a right in line with the United Nations Charter for Human Rights, but it must be pursued within the boundaries of the law rather than embarking on violent killing of soldiers , policemen and others .
Kalu said any agitation for self determination that promotes violence and destruction of public property is at variance with the conditions laid out by the United Nations, which prescribes the conduct of a plebiscite by people of the areas to decide where they want to belong to.
He said Buhari must work at all times to pursue the continued unity of all parts of the country , by putting measures in place to address issues raised by those calling for self-determination .
“ President Buhari as a matter of fact should set out to engage traditional rulers and leaders of thoughts with security and intelligence agencies on how to resolve this potential trouble. Resolving the agitation for self determination needs an all inclusive strategy ,not use of force , or carrying guns .
“Government needs to engage the agitators and make them realize that it is ready to resolve whatever issues they have raised .I must advise security agencies that using force to quell the agitation for self determination at this time is not the best strategy .
“It is a wrong strategy hearing people saying that we will quench it by force, we cannot quench anything by force because it is their right to ask for self determination”, he said.
Kalu further said :” First, I think the signals we are getting from the agitation are quite intriguing in many respects.
“But, as much as government should not disregard the agitation .The strategy of going violent by the agitators is not to be supported because violence in any form, has never been known as the way to resolve issues of agitation for self-determination As a patriotic Nigerian, I believe In the unity and indivisibility of this country .”As an Igbere man from Abia State, I love this country and will continue to push for its togetherness.
“To be honest with you, those boys are right in their quest to agitate for self determination. They have a right to demonstrate, for what they consider may be their right as recognized by the United Nations Charter for Human Rights .
“But, what I do not agree with is the violence associated with the demonstrations, and the alleged killing of soldiers by the agitators . No commander in chief of any country should tolerate such act by any group no matter the issue involved. It is an affront on the state . if I were the commander in chief I will never tolerate such brazen act of lawlessness and violence .