Listen to article
The Igbo National Council (INC) has addressed the allegation made by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) that the destruction of forests and shanties occupied by criminals in the state is specifically targeting northerners.
The President of INC, Chilos Godsent, described the statement by CNG as deliberate propaganda conceived to vehemently blackmail the government of Imo State.
While advising the northern group against making provocative comments, Godsent clarified that the statistics they provided about the number of shanties demolished and the number of people displaced were exaggerated and filled with inaccuracies.
While backing the state government’s decision, Godsent stressed that it was a crucial move taken to tackle insecurity in the state, as a significant number of the forests and shanties demolished were being used as havens by criminals.
‘The INC wish to clearly State that the forests and Shanties demolished in various dangerous locations in Owerri Suburban by the Imo State Government Taskforce on illegal structures in the aforementioned Press Statement of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) are forests illegally inhabited by criminals.’
‘Where they have recently illegally erected shanties and used same locations for criminal activities ranging from Illicit drugs trading, kidnapping, armed robberies, prostitution, child trafficking, etc.’
‘We wish to also inform the misinformed leadership of the CNG that the said forests and shanties demolished by government of Imo State were inhabited by citizens cutting across every state, ethnic group and tribes of Nigeria including Igbo people from even Imo State and the northerners have lesser population in the aforementioned locations.’
‘The INC, therefore, warn the CNG to stop fanning ethnic sentiment by negatively inciting Nigerians using lies, blackmails and unverified malicious propaganda. We, therefore, advice CNG to learn how to properly investigate issues of this nature before going to press.’
‘If the said forests and shanties demolished by the state government were a genuine and legal residential properties we know that the CNG and evicted inhabitants would have approached the court to get legal redress.’
A seven-day ultimatum has been issued by the INC to the northern group, demanding they revoke the allegation and apologize to the Imo State government and Nigerians for their remarks.