Engagement, Not Threats, Solution to S-East Violence, Abaribe Tells Buhari

Abaribe Buhari

By Kingsley Nwezeh

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to embrace dialogue in order to resolve the agitation and violence in the South-east.

Abaribe said in an interview on ARISE NEWS Channel, that threats would not resolve the crisis in the region.

Buhari, in a series of tweets via his tweeter handle@mbuhari, had threatened to deal with those fomenting trouble in the South-east in the language, they would understand, a situation that attracted sanctions from microblogging site, Twitter.

But Abaribe attributed the violence to an imbalance in the distribution of resources and the unjust treatment of Igbo.

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He stated that the South-east Caucus in the Senate had condemned the violence and no senator would support the destruction of infrastructure in the region.

“We all know that it’s through negotiation that you can resolve it but the response we are getting from the federal government is not a response calculated to bring peace.

“When you threaten to visit the deprivations of the civil war on the South-east, what message are you sending? We expect the president as the father of the nation to be able to embrace everybody.

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“But we have always seen this pattern. Anytime something happens in the South-east, that’s when he comes out to say, I will crush you and we think that’s not the way to go,” he added.

Abaribe traced the cause of the problem to injustice.

He said: “As for the root cause of what is leading to all these, we have consistently said it over the years that at the root of everything is injustice.

“If you do not give people justice, the impression will always be created in the minds of the people of South-east that they are seen as a people from a different place.

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“With things in their present state, to say you will visit the South-east with federal might makes all of us say we can find a better part or the only better part is engagement.

“We must engage. When the Southern governors met, they said let’s try to engage. Everybody has said let’s try to engage and we are still waiting to engage.”

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