By Francis Onyeukwu
Two socio-cultural organisations, Ndigbo Peace Movement and Arewa Groups have stressed the need for peaceful co-existence of Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious inclinations.
The two groups made the call in Anambra in a joint news conference they held in Awka on Wednesday.
Mr Divine Onyekachi, the leader of the Igbo movement who read the text of the conference said peace and unity of the country Nigeria was paramount and superior to any unlawful agitations.
Onyekachi said, “collectively as a country of diverse ethnic groups, we have worked so hard to make this country great and we will not allow some acts of lawlessness to drag us to the path of retrogression.
“The strength of Nigeria is in its diversity and only convergence of efforts from all ethnic groups can make Nigeria reclaim her rightful place in the comity of nations.
Onyekachi commended state and federal governments for taking bold steps to reassure the citizens of the unity, love and oneness of Nigerians as evident by the recent visits of some northern state governors on a peace mission in the south eastern part of the country.
He, however, called on all ethnic groups agitating for one thing or another to channel their agitations through lawful means.
Onyekachi used the opportunity to call on the Igbo residing in the northern part of the country to disregard any threat to their safety and go about their lawful duties without fear of molestation.
He equally assured the northern counterparts living in the south eastern part of the country that their safety was guaranteed, observing that the Igbo were hospitable and peace loving people.
Also speaking, Alhaji Bello Maigari, the leader of Arewa groups in Anambra said there was need for all Nigerians to support the peace and unity of the nation.
Maigari who is also the Youth leader of Suleja Hausa Community in the state, urged political leaders to always strive to give every group their due rights.
He advised those agitating for their rights to channel their demands through their political representatives as it was the right path for people to get their dues in a democratic system of government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the leaders of the two groups signed a peace pact at the end of the conference as mark of renewed bond of unity between the groups.(NAN)