The Igbo socio-cultural group in Nigeria, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said the country should not be allowed to undergo another civil war.
The President-General of the group, Chief John Nwodo, stated this in Sokoto, when he led leaders of Igbo groups on a courtesy visit to Governor Aminu Tambuwal.
He said the group acknowledged that although, country was in a trying times, the cohesion that existed over the years should be maintained.
“Yes, our country is going through a trying period. We should, under any circumstances, not experience another civil war. We should not allow personal emotions to undermine our national unity,” he stated.
Nwodo, who noted that the visit was at the instance of the South-East governors and other stakeholders from the South-East geopolitical zone, assured the governor of their cooperation for peaceful coexistence among the ethnic nationalities in the country.
He also commended Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who according to him, portrayed himself as a father in the ongoing ethnic tensions.
The former minister said the Sultan recent statement saying ‘whoever wants to attack the Igbo, should attack him first,’ was worthy of commendation.
“In the same vein, I came with the assurances of the South-East governors that any Igbo who wants to kill a northerner, should first kill them,” Nwodo further said.
“We must remain partners in progress of our country, as we have seen how our own fathers and forefathers live to make it grow and develop to its present stage,” he said.
In his remarks, Tambuwal restated his government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and peaceful coexistence of all people residing in the state.
He described Nigeria’s peace and unity as solution to all challenges, noting that agitations should be channelled through proper discussions in the interest of the nation’s progress.
“Nigeria must remain one entity and its existence should not be questioned as God made us one from various tribes and dependent on one another.”
He commended Ohanaeze Idigbo delegation for the visit, adding that “Sokoto State is always home for all Nigerians.”
The Ndigbo group is expected to visit Kano and Adamawa states in continuation of its peace mission.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has blamed youth unemployment for the various agitations across Nigeria especially by the now proscribed IPOB.
Ortom said this in an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said, “I think that this agitation that we are talking about, if you look at the majority of the people that are visibly seen from the Biafran agitation that has now been proscribed; you discover that they are mainly youths.
“Youths are all over the place. If you hear what the Arewa coalition did, they are still youths. To me, I think that it is lack of employment. And it’s a very big challenge we have to contend with.
“I have known that even before I started campaigning to be governor even as governor, what troubles me every day is how to surmount this challenge.
“I feel that this agitation and all these problems, threats from here and there are coming as a result of not engaging these youths because the hand that is idle becomes the devil’s workshop.
“I think that we must concentrate our efforts at the local government, state and federal levels to ensure that we engage our youths.”