The apex Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohaneze Ndi’gbo, has urged Nigerians to promote virtues of peace and tolerance among themselves so as to enhance the unity of the country.
The president-general of the association, John Nwodo, made the plea on Thursday when he led members of the association on a visit to Governor Aminu Tambuwal in Sokoto.
The visit was in reciprocation of the peace mission by northern governors who during the week sent a delegation of five of their members to some states in the South-east and South-region.
Speaking in Sokoto, Mr. Nwodo stressed that Nigeria should never be allowed to experience another civil war.
He said although the nation is facing challenging times, the cohesion that existed over the years was worthy of being maintained.
“Yes, our country is facing a trying period, but we should not, under any circumstance, allow the experience of another civil war to happen again. We should not allow personal emotions to undermine our national unity,” he stated.
Mr. Nwodo, who said the visit of his group was at the instance of the Southeast governors, assured of Ohanaeze’s cooperation for peaceful coexistence among the ethnic nationalities in the country.
He commended the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, who “in the ongoing ethnic tensions, portrayed himself as a father by stating recently that whoever wants to attack the Igbos, should attack him, first.”
“In the same vein, I came with the assurances of Southeast governors that any Igbo who wants to kill a northerner, should first kill them,” Mr. Nwodo further said.
In his remarks, Governor Tambuwal said Nigeria is blessed with many ethnic groups and languages which he said should be used to promote unity, not division.
“The recent tension especially in the South East was caused by young men who do not understand any other way of channelling their grievances other than the way they have chosen.
“I assure you that we are at peace with each other here in Sokoto and we shall continue to be,” Mr. Tambuwal said.