Five governors from the North yesterday paid a solidarity visit to Rivers and Abia states, preaching peace. They also addressed Northerners, telling them to remain calm, following the tension generated by the activities of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The governors were led by Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, commended South East Governors For their prompt efforts, towards restoring peace in the region.
Shettima said:“We the Northern Governors Forum and the entire country want to thank you for rising up to the challenges of leadership by declaring the curfew that brought a lot of sanity to the state during the clash between IPOB and the military”
Shettima said what Ikpeazu did during the crisis went a long way to bringing peace. He said:“We are here as Northern governors who respect and promote the unity of Nigeria, we are here to thank Governor Ikpeazu for his leadership role in the heat of the crisis, he rose to the occasion, he saved the nation from the precipice.
"We the leaders of this country have a major role to play in bringing peace to this nation and leadership is about symbolism, we are here to show solidarity with the Abia governor.
We have a moral obligation as leaders and governors to ensure the country remains one indivisible entity. We are proud of the Igbo nation, they are our brothers. We have to make this country work.
"WNigeria is a unique nation, despite our challenges. We don’t want any mass exodus of Nigerians from any part of the country”
On the quit notice for Igbo to leave the North by October 1, Shettima said nobody had the right to chase any Nigerian out of any part of the country. Ndigbo are part of Nigerian economy. Those agitating for break-up don't know much about this country.”
Others are Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Aminu Masari (Katsina) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).
Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu promised to defend Nigeria’s unity, despite the IPOB agitation.
“We will not allow a few agitators to divide Nigeria,” Ikpeazu told the delegation.
He thanked them for the visit and assured them of the safety of northerners in the Southeast.
Shettima praised Southeast governors for their efforts in ensuring that the clash of IPOB members with the military did not escalate.
The Borno governor said the governors were in Abia to show solidarity with Ikpeazu, adding that the governor refused to be drawn into ethnicity