An Elder Statesman and First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, 92, has urged Igbo youths to respect his age and stop the wanton killings and destruction of property in the South East.
Amaechi made the appeal on Wednesday in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen after a closed door meeting with Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.
The elder statesman said that he was in the state to brief the governor as the Chairman of the South East Governors Forum on his efforts to stop the incessant violence in the zone, especially by youths.
He said: “I led a delegation of Igbo leaders to President Muhammadu Buhari on the growing trend of violence in the country, especially in the South East zone.
“He was happy with the visit and we are expecting positive results because peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved with violence.”
The First Republic Minister regretted the reported killing of policemen and civilians in Ebonyi State and other parts of the country and called for an end to such carnages.
Amechi said: “I plead with all agitating groups both known and unknown to give peace a chance for full restoration of security to the zone and the entire country.
“I am the only surviving Minister of the First Republic and plead that my age should be respected.
“I should be assisted to make peace in the zone and country before I join my maker.
“Youths are presently witnessing a period when the naira has no value, passengers disembark from their vehicles to cross security checkpoints among other issues.”
Amechi recalled the events of the 1979 and 1999 general elections in the country and noted that Igbos missed the opportunities of clinching the presidential positions on both occasions.
He added: “I believe the Igbos have qualified and respected individuals who can clinch and acquaint themselves creditably as the country’s president.
“I advise aspirants for the position from the zone to work towards ensuring that their respective political parties nominate an Igbo man for the position.
“When Igbos emerge as the candidates of the respective parties, we would support whoever wins.”