Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has appealed to perpetrators of violence in the south-east to give peace a chance.
Iwuanyanwu spoke on Saturday at a press conference in Enugu ahead of the September 29 Igbo Day celebration.
Iwuanyanwu said the group will use non-kinetic approach, which involves dialogue, to address the security challenges in the geo-political zone.
“I am tired of the death of my children and they have given me the responsibility to lead them,” he said.
While linking hunger and unemployment to the cause of criminality, Iwuanyanwu said nothing should justify the killings of innocent people.
“I am not saying that hunger and unemployment will make one a criminal but not everyone has capacity to endure hunger,” he said.
“As a father, I will call and appeal to everybody to embrace peace and the non-kinetic approach requires everybody’s support–both state and the federal government–for us to have peace in the south-east.
“Whatever sacrifice to bring an end to bloodshed and killing in Igboland, I will do it.
“I am going to reach these people by any means to beg them or even give my life if they want it; I will surrender it to ensure peace reigns in the region.”
Iwuayanwu added that he is not calling for the killing of the perpetrators.
“We are not going to arrest or kill them. I don’t want to kill any of our children; we are going to appeal to them to tell us what they want us to do,” he said.
“Those who are hungry, we will find them something to do to keep them happier but bloodshed and killing should stop.
“It is not easy to stop a hungry person who has found a means of getting livelihood through guns but as a father, I will go and cry to them and I am praying to God that my approach works out well.”