Consider May 30 National Day for Healing – Igbo Youths urge FG
By Lawrence Nwimo
A group, Southeast Youth Stakeholders Forum, has urged federal government to consider May 30 as an annual day to heal wounds of violated human rights in the country.
The group said this in a statement signed by its leader, Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, adding that the date should be set aside to console and honour millions of people who died fighting for their fundamental rights to freedom.
The group further expressed concern with the security situation in the country, especially in the Southeast region, where unidentified hoodlums have continued to launch series of attacks targeted at security agencies and government facilities.
“We are concerned about the security situations in Nigeria, especially in Southeast coming from repeated attacks on security agencies, killing of innocent citizens, and destruction of government facilities.
“We condemn all these acts of violence, and sue for peace and peaceful co-existence.
We, therefore, urge all aggressive parties to sheet their swords and give chance to dialogue.
“We cannot continue to turn deaf ears to the voices of the oppressed, neither do we hope to remain mute in the face of injustice. On this note, we reaffirm our resolve and commitment to peace, stability and development in South East, Igbo land and Africa, in general.
“Indeed, we cannot continue to shy away from these facts, neither shall we continue to keep mute while things fall apart. It is now time to take responsibility, irrespective of ethnic sentiments, in order to address these issues bedevilling us as a people and a nation.
The group advised federal government to learn from history and stop war against nationalism, urging them to seek healthier options that would ensure national unity and peaceful coexistence. They also advised the government to visibly and clearly embrace the values of justice and fairness in the true sense for peace, unity and development.
“We urge the appropriate quarters to, as a matter of urgency, grant attention and consider the gross injustice meted against citizens who have been detained in Onitsha and Awka Correctional Centres for twelve (12) solid years without Justice.
While the group asked the aggrieved to sheet their swords, they commended human rights activists and lawyers, who have shown concerns and commitment on the gross human rights abuse and injustice meted against the 18 detainees, and have also volunteered to take over this matter as soon as the judiciary resume from industrial action.
They also challenged the federal government and the governors, especially from South East to liaise with relevant stakeholders, more importantly, the aggrieved as well as the Youths, to address and arrest the unrest in the country and regions respectively.