By Emmanuel Mogbede
The All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for calm and restraint from Nigerians, following reports of violent clashes linked to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Abia and Rivers State.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, made the call in a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement also expressed regret at the incidence at the secretariat of the National Union of Journalist (NUJ) in Umuahia, where some journalists were assaulted.
“Commendably, the Nigerian Army has tendered its apology and is investigating the matter, “the statement said.
It urged the security agencies to adhere with globally-stipulated rules of engagements and laws governing their operations.
It added that the people must also allow the security agencies to conduct their constitutional roles of securing lives and properties without hindrance and provocation.
It called on the citizens, social commentators, media influencers and other stakeholders to be careful and mindful of their utterances on the clashes.
“Stoking tensions by inciting utterances, hate speech and other forms of awful propaganda will only push the country to the precipice.
“When we see the devastation of the country’s North-East by Boko Haram, the 1966 Nigerian civil war and similar conflicts in other countries, we are reminded of the effects of internal strife.
“We must not yield to elements beating the drumbeats of war; we owe the peace and unity of our dear country to the present and unborn generations, “the statement said.
It added that there was need for all to speak and stand up for peaceful co-existence on social media platforms, places of worship and other public spaces.
The statement decried recent agitations and actions which had the potential of undermining the country’s unity and relationship across religious and ethnic divides.
“We must ensure that such agitations are peaceful and lawful, “the statement said.
It added that it was necessary for all hands-to-be-on-deck to ensure the country`s unity in the collective interest of all citizens.