My Race Across Nigeria Is For Peace, Unity, Says Ezeugo
He started from Port Harcourt on June 2 and expects to end his race in Kaduna next week, but to former Super Eagles defender, Emeka Ezeugo, this is just the beginning of a journey to ensuring absolute peace and unity among the various tribes and religions in Nigeria.
The expedition from Port Harcourt to Kaduna, he says, is in solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire for the peace and unity of the country Ezeugo, who was a member of the 1990s Super Eagles, a team that epistomised all that Nigerians desired in their football, says the sharp division and tension that griped the nation during the period before and immediately after the 2015 general elections calls for contributions from patriots to re-orientate Nigerians on the need to embrace each other as one.
He adds that the peace and unity expedition is his own contribution to the quest for peace and unity in the country. Speaking to The Guardian when he arrived in Abuja on the last lap of his expedition on Tuesday, Ezeugo said his mission was appreciated by the governments of the states he has already visited, stressing that his target is to visit 14 states and four geo-political zones with his message of peace and unity.
“After football, I have been into coaching, scouting and analysing football in Africa, Europe and America. I am also an activist. Right now I am taking my activism to a different level. “I conceived this expedition before the commencement of the 2015 general elections.
I saw the deplorable condition of Nigeria before the election. The nation was tensed up and sharply divided along tribes and religion.
I decided to embark on this expedition to take the message of peace and unity across the country. “Luckily for me, I talked to two of my cousins and they agreed to do the run with me. I made them to know that it is going to be challenging because we do not have a sponsor, but we have to do it because it is a noble cause.
We set out from Port Harcourt a day after the inauguration. We were determined to touch most of the geo-political zones of the country with our message of peace and unity.
“We have crisscrossed cities like Aba, Owerri, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Makurdi, Lafia, Abuja, Minna and Kaduna, ensuring that we visited at least four out of the six geo-political zones in the country. In these cities we hand over our message to government officials.
“We are covering over 1,500 kilometers. We have gone to places where the government officials could not welcome us, but for us the show must continue because we believe our mission will bear a bit of positive fruit in the nation’s pursuit for peace and unity. That is the reason I want to traverse 14 states, including Abuja and four to five regions.” Ezeugo revealed that their mission is to use state chief executives to spread the message of peace and unity to their people.
“That informed our decisions to visit them and hand over our message to them in all the states we have visited so far. “At the National Assembly in Abuja, we intend to see the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to remind them of the enormous roles they are expected to play as leaders in the actualization of peace and unity of this country.
We will also take the message of peace and unity to the Presidency, where we intend to visit President Mohammad Buhari and his Vice,” he adds. Ezeugo, whose football career took to Denmark, Spain, Peru and the United States believe that no country thrives in an atmosphere of rancor and tension, adding, “It is only a fool who will close his eyes to what is going on in this country right now. We all know how this country was deeply divided during the election period.
So I am doing my bit to ensure the unity of Nigeria. I am not asking for anything. This is my little way of contributing something for the unity of my country.” He believes that the educated elite and every true patriot have the duty to educate those misled into clinging to the ethnic or tribal tensions created by unpatriotic Nigerians.
He adds: “If everyone does something positive, our country can move on the right direction. I know I am on the right cause for the peace and unity of my country.”