Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has said there are Igbos in the Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram insurgents are hibernating.
The governor said this after meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday.
He added that the population of Igbos in the South-East is lower than those outside the region.
“I want to announce that the population of Igbo outside the Igbo enclave is about 11.6 million; you don’t play with the lives of 11.6 million people,” he said.
“We all have to be careful, the press, the leadership at the state level and at the federal level, everybody. We are still working on stabilising and sustaining the fragile peace that we enjoy now.
“I swore with the Bible to protect lives and property; because I take such oath very seriously, I will continue to protect the lives and property of our brothers and sisters irrespective of where they come from.
“I do not see how, as an Igbo man, boxing myself into a smaller geographic entity will help the cause of the most widely travelled people in Nigeria.
“There are Igbo in Sambisa (forest); what are you expecting of them if I narrow their geography of coverage.
“But agitation, marginalisation and infrastructure deficiencies, these are issues which are germane and they can be discussed, spoken about and addressed.”