Christian leaders in the South East have blamed the emergence of separatist agitations in the country on lack of equity and fairness.
They also explained why the Federal Government should grant amnesty to members of separatist groups, saying it would encourage them to embrace dialogue rather than resort to violence which has led to the loss of lives and property.
“With the return to constitutional democracy in 1999, our people had looked forward to a national sense of belonging and the restoration of equity and fairness in dealing with all segments of Nigeria,” said the Christian leaders in a jointly-signed communique released recently. “This, unfortunately, has not happened.
“The failure, in this regard, opened the way for ethnic and sectionalist agitations for justice and fairness. We would like to engage the members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra and other separatist groups, to ask them to eschew all violent activities.
“But we cannot reasonably do this as long as any of them is proscribed as a terrorist group. We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to consider granting amnesty to IPOB and other separatist groups. We believe that the de-criminalisation and de-proscription of these groups would lead them to embrace the democratic and non-violent means of negotiation, thus opening the path of dialogue on the future of Nigeria.
“This will win the hearts of all and lead to a better rapport between the political leaders and the people in the future. A militarist and high-handed approach may win the peace of the mortuary and graveyard, but it cannot win the hearts and minds of the people