Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Hundreds of residents of Umuahia the Abia State capital tuesday held a rally for peace and called for the sustenance of peace in the embattled city following a week of tension when soldiers of operation Python Dance II swooped on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The rally, which attracted people from all walks of life, was organised by Vision Africa Organisation, a faith-based non-governmental organisation which runs a radio station in Umuahia.
The participants walked round major streets of Umuahia singing peace songs and carry placards with peace messages such as, ‘We want peace; peace is paramount; peace, peace, peace.’
Speaking with journalists after the peace walk and rally, the President of Vision Africa, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, said the people of the state trooped out to make a statement in favour of peace in the state.
“What we have done is to tell people that there is peace in Abia State (hence) people dance and celebrated peace,” he said, adding, “Let peace reign so that the poor, the mighty would live in peace.”
The Methodist cleric advised all the aggrieved and agitators to bring their problems to the negotiating table and anybody coming to the negotiating table should be ready to make sacrifice and make compromise for peace to reign.
“No mater the interest, no matter the passion anybody has on nay issue, it should be brought to the negotiating table for discussion,” he said.
On the clamour for restructuring, the Vision Africa President called for proper understanding of what should be done as people are expressing different meanings on the issue, noting that without consensus of understanding of the issue Nigerians would continue to move in a circle.
He also has advice for President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that it was high time Mr. President started making himself available for Nigerians to feel his presence because opinions from the grassroots suggest that Buhari was not being represented well.
“Mr. President should not be withdrawn. Nigerians want to see their president, feel and touch him,” Bishop Onuoha said.