By Peter Okutu & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
ABAKALIKI—THE Federal Government yesterday, initiated a peace move to quell various forms of agitations in different parts of the country.
This came as Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, yesterday, accused the All Progressives Congress, APC led government of marginalisation against Ndigbo, saying it cannot be intimidated into silence in the face of such marginalisation.
Speaking during the flag-off of a state-wide sensitisation programme tagged: “Building a People of Peace in Nigeria: Re-unveiling the spirit of peaceful co-existence” at the Council Hall of Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, Director-General of National Orientation Agency, NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, explained that the purpose of the programme was not only to refocus citizen’s attention on the things that unite the nation rather than what creates division but also to identify and address issues, perceptions and attitudes that are threatening the peace and peaceful existence in Ebonyi State.
Represented by the state Director of NOA, Dr. Emma Abah, Abari added that the agency decided to first of all take the peace initative to the grassroots because once there is established peace in the area, it would easily spread across every nook and cranny of the state unhindered.
He said:“Today, all around us in this country, we are confronted with hate speech, quit notice, and youth restiveness, land/border clashes, communal clashes, farmers-herdsmen clashes, kidnapping, kindred rising against kindred, religious intolerance, insurgency among others, which in no small measure, undermined the spirit of peaceful co-existence among Nigerians at all levels.
“The destructive tendencies, as we can see, are not originally in our character. Therefore, we have to re-invent the spirit of co-existence. I urge all patriotic Ebonyi people to stand up and be counted among those who are determined to fight against disunity in our communities and the disintegration of this nation.
“In the past, our people stayed together despite our acknowledged differences with one another not minding that the communities operated different forms of government, but they constantly traded, exchanged visits, even intermarried among themselves.
“Then, also our communities were able to resolve both inter and intra communal disputes through dialogue and consensus, not resorting to violent approach that destroyed the spirit of co-existence.”
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion and Senior Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Internal Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, who welcomed the initiative of the Federal Government towards restoring peace in the country, stressed that until every family was in peace, Nigeria as a nation cannot be in peace.