Peace campaigner urges calm, amid worrisome banditry in Nigeria

National unity campaigner Dr Nnamdi Orefo pleaded with Nigerians on Wednesday to close ranks and tackle the country’s challenges as the nation grapples with threats of bandits and anarchists.

Onochie made the appeal while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja after his latest peace-building tour of some states in the South East.

The visit is the latest in the nationwide campaign of the PDP stalwart to persuade Nigerians to stay together, rather than craving disintegration of the nation.

Colonial masters, Britain amalgamated Nigeria in 1914 as Africa’s showpiece but 107 years down the line some ethnic nationalities are pushing to ship out of the arrangement.

But the Federal Government has assured that Nigeria remains an indivisible entity.

Onochie told NAN that he was worried over what he described as “persistent crisis, terrorism, abductions, strikes and wanton killing of Nigerians by their compatriots in peace time.’’

The politician said that Nigerians of all walks of life, especially politicians should rise up to the current challenge, to cure the nation of its ills, rather than dissipating energies on inanities.

Onochie, who commenced his nationwide peace campaign last month, starting from north western Nigeria, painted a gloomy picture of developments in parts of Nigeria in recent times, pleading that Nigerians should not destroy their own country.

“In my current travels and visits around the country, the rising cases of criminality is disturbing.

“This has resulted to all kinds of problems, giving rise to increasing prices of commodities — a major source of concern for the business sector and the common people, especially those at the grassroots.

“Traditional rulers in all the communities I’ve visited are lamenting and pleading with the Federal Government to come to their rescue.

“The level of inflation, standing currently at 18.3 per cent is unacceptable and urgent action is needed from all of us to pull Nigeria out of the woods.

Onochie also appealed to Nigerians with skill and knowledge to rise to the challenge, to save Africa’s most populous nation from its current problems.

The polyglot, who said that he had offered himself to the service of the nation, noted that his nationwide peace campaign was to re-assure the populace that “after darkness comes light.’’

The PDP member expressed his optimism that the “Giant of Africa will rise again, saying that the 2023 elections would offer an opportunity for him to put Nigeria on course for greatness.

According to him, being indifferent, aloof or showing non-challance, would serve no one any good, saying that salvaging the nation should be priority for everyone.

Onochie, who said that he visited the Chairman of the Ebonyi State Council of Chiefs, Eze Charles Nwapuma, commended traditional rulers for ensuring peace and tranquility in their domains.

He said that he had also visited leaders of the PDP in Abia, including the Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Allwell Okere.

Onochie similarly, visited Eze Nkemjika Uba, the traditional ruler of Akabor community in the Oguta Local Government Area of Imo, where the traditional ruler commended him for his initiative in peace building.

Uba, he said, prayed for the unity and prosperity of Nigeria, pleading with the nation’s leaders to implement policies that would touch the lives of the masses positively.

Onochie had earlier visited Hon. Evans Eziolunu, a former commissioner in Imo, who also lauded him for embarking on the nationwide peace campaign.

A native of Asaba in Delta, Onochie was Nigeria’s former ambassador to the Philippines and Algeria. (NAN)