Determined to ensure a harmonious relationship among ethnic nationalities wherever they reside in the country, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State on Friday hosted a peace parley in Owerri, with the governors of Jigawa and Kebbi states, Mohammed Abubakar Badaru and Atiku Baguda, respectively, in attendance.
The parley was also aimed at easing tension between farmers and herders in the South-east, and to promote peace between Christians and Muslims in the region.
Uzodimma said he convened the interactive meeting for the purpose of fostering harmonious relationships among all the groups listed.
Addressing the audience at the Executive Council Chamber, Government House Owerri, Uzodimma harped on the need for sustainable harmonious and peaceful relationship between all tribes in Nigeria, irrespective of religious beliefs or political inclination.
He lamented the current security challenges in the nation which he said were being instigated by peddlers of rumours and false information, to encourage conflicts between farmers and herders, stressing that “the two groups should complement each other because they need each other to succeed in their businesses.”
The governors of Kebbi and Jigawa states, in their remarks, appreciated Uzodimma’s wisdom in convening the meeting, and acknowledged that all Nigerians have the right to live peacefully in any part of the nation, under the protection of the leadership of the states.
They advised that all criminals inhabiting the forests should be flushed out both in the Northern and Southern parts of the country and be prosecuted.
The governors stressed the essence of unity among all Nigerians, saying it is the only way the country can achieve greatness.
Representatives of the Christian, Muslim, traditional institutions, and Miyetti Allah, who spoke, advocated the need for sustainable harmonious relationships among all ethnic groups in Nigeria.
At the end of the meeting a communiqué was issued where all concerned committed to harmonious, peaceful relationship that would foster a united Nigeria.
Also present at the peace parley were the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor; the National Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma; the Chairmen of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from the South-east; Chief Imams from the zone; Leaders of Miyetti Allah from the five South-east states and heads of religious and traditional institutions.