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2007: South-East, North move to mend fences

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2006/07/14 | Views: 372 |

2007: South-East, North move to mend fences

Politicians from the North and South East on Tuesday began a peace meeting aimed at breaking the seeming political logjam in the country which is becoming a threat to the peace and security of the country as both the North and South insist on occupying the presidency in 2007.

Politicians from the North and South East on Tuesday began a peace meeting aimed at breaking the seeming political logjam in the country which is becoming a threat to the peace and security of the country as both the North and South insist on occupying the presidency in 2007.

Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, who first flew the kite about the return of the presidency to the North, used the occasion to warned politicians from regions not to undermine the interest of the nation in their agitations.

The governor said all Nigerian politicians should stop heating up the polity with their ulterances and agitation for power shift, which he said is threatening the peace of the nation.
The governor spoke while addressing a peace meeting between the North and the South East that the ultrances of politicians in the country over power shift in 2007 could threaten the peace and security of the nation.

Delivering a paper entitled "managing ethno-religious crisis: The Kaduna State Experience", Makarfi said that there was the need for restraints on the part of every Nigerian as the nation march toward another election year.
He also cautioned politicians to be mindful of what they say and do in their quest to secure for their region the nationís presidency next year.

He argued that in this regard, all Nigerians must tread with the greatest care and caution in order not to give the enemies of peace the opportunity to wreak havoc on hapless citizens.
In his words, "we politicians must be moderate in our actions and utterances. There must be cause for agitations, but whether agitations come from the North or South, we must be moderate in our actions. It is only by so doing that we can promote democracy. I call on all of us to be moderate. Let us pursue what we want to pursue without insulting one another.

That way, we can protect Nigeria and Nigerians," he said.The governor drew attention of the audience to the experience of his administration in the management of past ethno-religious crises in the state, adding that apart from employing the instrument of dialogue, various formal proactive structures aimed at averting and containing conflicts were also put in place.
He however, listed some of the security measures to include the revitalization of the weekly security council meeting with heads of the various security agencies existing in the state.

"The secret of our success lies primarily in the involvement of all stakeholders in the peace and prosperity of Kaduna State in particular and the country in general in the search for solutions. These include community and religious leaders, politicians of all persuasions and other interest groups who came together and vowed to arrest the drift towards anarchy.
"The management of crises remains the basic responsibility of any government, which cares about the peace, and progress of its people.

"At every level, government possesses the instruments of crisis management, as it is the sole formulator and implementer of policies that can impact positively or otherwise, on the lives of the people, especially security," Makarfi said.
Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Chinedu Nebo, traced the relationship between the North and the South East, describing the zones as traditional allies, pointing out that this must be rekindled in the interest of the Nigerian nation.

The convener of the meeting, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, said, in his own remarks, that the frequent occurrence of ethno-religious conflicts in the country must be condemned by all.
"Whether the killing is done up here in the North or down there in the East or anywhere in Nigeria, it is a heinous crime, it is a sin against God. It leaves an open wound that refuses to heal from generation to generation.

Let me take this opportunity to say this: as the politicians are soon to start doing their thing, we should find a way and means of effectively restraining our youths from being used as thugs or commissioned assassins.
"This August assembly is the highest level at which our rulers and leaders can, in sincerity and honesty, find a way to put final stop to ethno-religious killings and destruction," Amechi said.

Those who attended the meeting included Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Dr. Olusola Saraki and former vice chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ango Abdullahi.
Others are the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris and other traditional rulers from both the North and the South East states.

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