Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Friday pledged the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to end the reign of terror in the South East.
Shettima stated this at the unveiling of the Peace in South East Project (PISE-P) by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Benjamin Kalu, in Bende Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia.
He condemned those he described as self-serving criminals and certain persons taking advantage of the security situation to foster their dangerous political agenda in the region.
Shettima said Tinubu had been worried about the economic devastation inflicted on the South East geopolitical zone by non-state actors since he assumed office.
He also assured that Tinubu was determined to deploy all available resources to eliminate the purveyors of falsehoods and propaganda that have become weapons against Nigeria’s unity.
In his speech, titled, “Why We are all Umunna”, Shettima said Tinubu is concerned about the extensive economic devastation inflicted by non-state actors on this beautiful region since we took office.
“Tinubu is acutely aware that our commitment to Nigeria’s future remains incomplete as long as we grapple with the sinister operations of economic saboteurs who masquerade as advocates for the Ndi-Igbo.
“That’s why he’s determined to utilise all available resources to ensure that the peace we’re establishing in this region is not cosmetic.
“And we can’t guarantee it unless all of us see through the falsehoods and propaganda that have become weapons against our unity.”
Shettima noted that the gory activities of the criminals holding the South East captive are self-serving and do not in any way represent the interests of Ndi-Igbo and the entire country.
He said the terror groups that have held the south east to ransom are not a creation of the people of the region, or of Nigerians from other parts of the country.
“The problem we are here to solve as a community, as an Umunna, is a creation of self-serving criminals who do not represent the interests of the Ndi-Igbo and Nigerians.
“Mr President knows this better than all of us, and that’s why he has never held any group accountable for the infractions of law-breaking individuals who identify as their members.
” This, I believe, is the democracy we have all chosen,” he stated.
He pointed out that the criminals disrupting the peace in the south east are doing so in connivance with “forces exploiting the situation for dangerous political agenda.”
The Vice President said attempts to undo the hard work of the nation’s heroes past would fail.
He, however, said that the catastrophic situation can’t be reversed unless the government involves the people whom he said are the ears, legs and mouths in the region.
“Today, we stand united to firmly declare: enough is enough,” VP Shettima stated.
He stressed the need for a coordinated intervention to tackle insecurity in the region head-on.
Shettima assured the south east people that the Tinubu administration “shall not rest until it fulfills its pledge to mitigate the crisis it inherited.”
The vice president noted that no better visionary could save the nation from implosion than President Tinubu.
He said the development agenda of the Federal Government in the south east would continue to elude the region if
the intricate web of security challenges the Tinubu-led federal government inherited is not contained.
“The seeds of progress can only sprout in the fertile soil of peace and security.
“This is why we take immense pride in the collaboration of all stakeholders and initiatives such as the Peace in
south east project.
“This will ensure that the shield of security in the region isn’t a distant mirage in the landscape of aspirations.”
He commended the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and convener of the peace initiative, Kalu, for his efforts to restore lasting peace in the region.
He said the event attests “to the profound understanding that no one comprehends the experience of a community better than the people themselves.”
Earlier, Kalu said that his goal for initiating the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) was to foster peace, unity, and development in the region.
He said the project also aims at promoting reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts.
“When I embarked on the South East Project, my vision was clear — to foster peace, unity, and development in our region through a non-kinetic approach.
“The south east has long been known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant communities, and enterprising people. Yet, we have faced our fair share of challenges, including socioeconomic disparities, insecurities, political tensions, and occasional conflicts.
“Our goals in the south east project are clear. We aim to promote reconciliation among communities and individuals affected by past conflicts.
“We recognise the need to address the root causes of conflict, including socio-economic disparities and political tensions.
“Empowering communities is another crucial goal of the project, providing them with the necessary resources, skills, and opportunities for sustainable development.” (NAN)