A fresh move to contain the agitations by pro-Biafra groups, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), was launched yesterday by governors of the South-East region.
The move, which will see the governors meeting with leadership of the pro-Biafra groups, would also seek ways of ensuring the release of the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, from detention as well as other members of the groups in various prisons nationwide.
The Guardian gathered that the move was part of the efforts by the governors to address some issues of interest in the zone that have hindered its economic growth and development.
It was also learnt that the governors believed time had come for them to look inwards in developing the economy of the zone and remove bottlenecks which could constitute hindrance or discourage investments in the region as erroneously being blamed on the activities of the agitators.
Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, told reporters at the end of their meeting in Enugu yesterday that the governors were committed to addressing issues concerning the groups as well as the release of Nnamdi Kanu.
In another development, the Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), which comprises individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora, has called on the governors of the South-East region to float a regional investment corporation. It said that through this, a renascent East would be ushered in.
The group also said that the last time quantum development was heralded in the East was during the First Republic when the defunct Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC) built many landmark development projects across the then eastern region.
A statement by the president of the group, Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, stated: “We note that the world over, provinces, states, regions and nations are coming together to create economic blocs and integrated development agencies.
“The regional investment corporation like the defunct ENDC will then invest in major capacity-building generative infrastructure across the region such as super-highways with toll-gates, real estate with particular emphasis on high density buildings/skyscrapers (for population management).”
Ezeoke also said that all the proposed projects would be “generative” infrastructure that would bring returns as soon as possible so that dividends from revenues earned at the end of every year could be paid to all share and bond owners at the end of every fiscal year.
The group, which also called for an enlightenment programme to encourage maximum participation of all stakeholders, stressed: “In order to encourage maximum participation by a broad spectrum of south-easterners and other interested parties at home and in the Diaspora, a public enlightenment programme should precede the floating of the regional investment corporation possibly to be known as Oriental Investment Corporation or East Niger Investment Corporation (ENIC).”