From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Following the outcome of the recent EndSARS Protest and to be proactive in terms of security challenges within communities in South East geopolitical region especially within these festive periods, the Association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, has resolved to convene a 2-day security summit to bring all Igbo communities, leaders and stakeholders together to strategically address on how best to checkmate security challenges within the area.
The association revealed this In a statement endorsed by Chief Emeka Diwe, national President, and Hon Gideon Adikwuru, Secretary, of the association, and made available to news men in Owerri informing that the retreat will hold this Friday at the Universal Hotels, Enugu.
According to the one paged press statement “As the umbrella association of all the Town Unions in Igboland, we have an obligation of rising to the occasion to stem the tide of this incendiary turn of an otherwise peaceful protest organized by Nigerian youths to express their displeasure over police brutality. The Town Union system, historically, has been the fulcrum of peace, development and prosperity of the Igbo Nation, and the closest administrative units to the Igbo grassroots.
“It is on record that the Town Unions were the bastion for the massive reconstruction of facilities and infrastructure in the defunct Eastern Nigeria following the end of the Civil War. Health institutions, roads, bridges, markets and other projects which were rapidly brought back to life are a testimony to the efficacy of Town Unionism. The reconstruction of primary and post-primary schools, and the building and equipping of new ones, were effectuated by the town unions.
“Till date as well, most landmark development projects in Igbo communities owe their existence to the Town Union initiatives. Throughout Igboland, we can see the security outfits created and funded by Town Unions; we see health centres, markets, as well as scholarship and empowerment schemes, provided by town unions. Town unionism is therefore the clearest manifestation of the abiding spirit of republicanism of the Igbo.
“In view of the foregoing, ASETU has put arrangements in place for a 2-day emergency security retreat, so as to bring all Igbo communities, leaders and stakeholders together to reflect aloud on the challenges facing our people as a result of the fallout of the End SARS Protests. This retreat will hold at the Universal Hotels, Enugu, between November 19 and November 20, 2020.
“Finally, we wish to state that the Igbo are and will remain very hospitable and peaceful in our interactions with the other ethnic formations in Nigeria. We respect the diversities of the country and will continue to relate with everyone with mutual dignity. Any insinuation to the contrary, or any conduct by a few among us, which may seem to present our people as belligerent, antagonistic and mindlessly expansionist, is not just un-Igbo, but more fundamentally, it is anti-Igbo,” they pointed out.