Okowa urges Nigerians to shun acts capable of causing another civil war
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged Nigerians to explore dialogue, reconciliation and understanding in resolving disputes rather than engaging in actions that could lead the nation to another civil war.
The Governor made the call at the weekend at the 50th anniversary of the Asaba massacre held in Asaba, Delta State.At the solemn ceremony were former Nigeria’s Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Mr. Donald Duke; former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue; business mogul, Ide Sonny Odogwu; Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma; Igwe Laz Ekwueme, among others.
Okowa noted that the prevention of a repeat of such brutality must start on the benches of schools and places of worship. The governor said that there must be a prevention of hate speeches and prejudice by weakening the grounds for ignorance, promotion of peaceful coexistence and cultivation of respect for all people.
He added that in a world where the local is, but one click away from the global, there is a need for renewed commitment to dialogue, tolerance, reconciliation and understanding.
Former Vice President Ekwueme called for activities that will deepen Nigeria’s unity and ensure that it remains an indissoluble entity while Prof. Soyinka stated that it is never too early to forgive and there is no time limit for restitution.National President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in a solidarity speech, decried the level of impunity in Nigeria.
Chairman of organising committee, Ogbueshi Ofili Okonkwo, said: “Every Asaba woman, man or child carries a memory of genocide, it is a communal memory of loss and anguish that has stayed with us for fifty years; on 7th October, 1967, soldiers of the 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army entered Asaba” and their activities led to the death of more than 700 innocent Nigerians.’’
He stated: “All we want is to remember our dead and ensure that future generations of Nigerians know that no good comes from war.”
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