Charles Soludo, Sunday, said his government was working with the Indigenous People of Biafra to restore peace in the state, and by extension, the Southeast.
Soludo stated this during an interview on Channels TV. He spoke on copious issues, including how his government is being hampered by insecurity, his call for expedited trial of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and the imminent end to Monday’s sit-at-home in the state.
Quoting him, “My problem is complicated by insecurity. But we are engaging all stakeholders. We have announced the end to the Monday’s sit-at-home. We are working with the IPOB.
“There will be a worship tomorrow to make the end to the sit-at-home across the state. Criminals might want to hijack it, but we are working kinetically to find solutions to it.
“It is true that things have gone bad. Many criminals already benefit from the system. They will resist efforts to get them out of their sources of living. They were repelled today at Oko, with their vehicle captured.”
He said there was political colouration to the sit-at-home aimed at thwarting the election that brought him to government.
According to him, “Before my election, there were some political interests stoking the crimes.
“Today, a part of the IPOB said it is not part of the insecurity. This branch is working with us. We invited them on the day of the inauguration. This group accused Simon Ikpa of being behind crimes in Southeast. Once we isolate them, we approach the situation the way it will be.”
When asked about the proscription of IPOB by the federal government, Soludo said, “What is on ground doesn’t show that. It is a well-organised group.
“You can’t shoot an ideology with a gun. We got to engage everyone to get to the root of this agitation. It is a threat to the entire homeland.
“You proscribed them and they still affect society. Businesses have collapsed.
“Our truth and reconciliation committee will unearth the causes of this. We’ll document the dead. They run in thousands. Many south-eastern youths have also died innocently.
“The outcome will affect the national level because our airports, rail lines and roads are being hijacked by bandits.
“We offer an olive branch to the agitators. We don’t condemn them, but they should sin no more. IPOB should be a part of the conversation.
“Businesses are collapsing because of Nnamdi Kanu. He is a factor if we want to be realistic. You can’t discountenance him.
“That is why we are calling for his expedited trial. That is our counter-narrative: charge him to court, allow him to be defended by his lawyers, and let the court take decisions on him. What is he being charged for? Justice delayed is justice denied.”
On alleged terror charges against Kanu, Soludo said, “Whatever, let him have his days in court. There should not be prolonged adjournment. Delay creates suspense.”