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Obiano reaches out to families of Onitsha protest victims

By News Express on 18/12/2015

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Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has reached out to families who lost their loved ones during the recent pro-Biafra protests in Onitsha.

In a Special Message issued in Awka on Thursday, Governor Obiano bemoaned the tragic protests that led to the death of the victims and urged the grieving families to take heart.

In his own words, “the death of these young men and women in these protests is a sad chapter in the history of peaceful agitations in Nigeria. It is regrettable but we must accept it as some of the sacrifices we must make in Nigeria’s march to a stronger and more united country.”

The Governor expressed regret that what was ordinarily a peaceful protest was hijacked by hoodlums whose agenda was contrary to the objectives of the protesters and assured that he had opened a channel of communication with the bereaved families.

Governor Obiano further observed that “as a nation, Nigerians must realise that we have come to a point in our history when violence should not be an option in the search for solutions to our numerous developmental challenges. We ought to have known by now that no meaningful progress is ever achieved through violence. That is why my administration does not spare any efforts or resources in our quest to preserve the peace we currently enjoy in Anambra State.”

He cited his delicate handling of the potentially explosive transfer of Boko Haram inmates to Ekwulobia Prisons as one good example of the creative use of dialogue in resolving disputes. “We stamped our feet firmly on the ground to ensure that our people did not take the laws into their hands,” he stated.

Governor Obiano recalled that it was his deep belief in the efficacy of dialogue that made him single-handedly sustain the pressure on the relevant authorities until the controversial Boko Haram inmates were eventually relocated from Ekwulobia.

On the spate of rising agitations for self-determination across the South East, Governor Obiano advised all the aggrieved parties to consider dialogue first before taking the laws into their hands. He also advised both the security operatives keeping the peace in Onitsha and the residents of the city to exercise extreme restraint in the prevailing circumstances to avoid further loss of life.

He observed that while there might be sufficient grounds for protests, there is no better approach to expressing the collective anguish of a people than the option of dialogue. Said he: “I am fully aware of the basis for the rising discontent in the South East, but I will always advise that we explore the more effective option of dialogue. Remember that I was the only governor from the South East that performed a symbolic burial for Igbos and their South South cousins who died during the Civil War. However, my belief in the unity of Nigeria is total. I think that we can always overcome our challenges through dialogue.”

He declared that his administration is determined to ensure that Anambra continues to enjoy its current status as the most peaceful state in Nigeria by ensuring that issues that carry the potentials that can disrupt social harmony in the state are quickly nipped in the bud.

Consequently, Governor Obiano urged fellow citizens to give Nigeria a chance by conducting themselves in a manner that takes into account the country’s numerous diversities and the imperatives of a harmonious existence.

•Photo shows Governor Obiano.

Source News Express

Posted 18/12/2015 5:25:10 PM





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