Dialogue best way to resolve agitations, says Bello
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has restated his faith and commitment to the unity of Nigeria, saying the country can never divide. He said this at the Abia State Government House, Umuahia, during a courtesy call on Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammad Onogwu, Bello was quoted as saying: “I have always maintained this position that Nigeria can never divide; we can have differences, skirmishes here and there which by the grace of God, we shall overcome and Nigeria will remain together.”
He commended Governor Ikpeazu for the warm reception offered him and his entourage, saying, the Abia governor has been a very good friend. According to Bello, Ikpeazu was the first governor that called directly to congratulate him when he was first sworn in as governor of Kogi State in January 2016.
He said even though he is not of the same party, region and faith with Governor Ikpeazu, the duo has continued to enjoy mutual friendship and cordiality over the years, saying, that should be the right spirit all Nigerians must imbibe.
According to the governor, he also enjoys a cordial and mutual relationship with all his counterparts in the South East.
“We in Kogi State look at everyone as a Nigerian first before we talk about where you come from or even your religion. Though tongues may differ, we are one. In Kogi State, we don’t emphasise what divides us but we emphasize what unites us.
“I want each and every one of us to continue to preach peace, unity and togetherness. Yes, some sections of this country may be agitated due to one thing or the other but it is only at the roundtable such agitations can be best resolved.
“I call on all my brothers that feel aggrieved about the state of this country to sit on the table and pass through the proper channels to resolve the issues,” he said.
Bello told Governor Ikpeazu that his administration has done a lot in tackling insecurity bedeviling the state, which has made Kogi one of the safest states in the country today.
Governor Bello commended the contributions of the Igbo community living in Kogi State to the economic and political developments of the state.
Responding, Governor Ikpeazu commended the governor for the visit, describing Bello as a very good friend and strong ally who has always called him to offer words of encouragement.
He commended the governor for his leadership style and the strategies he had put in place to tackle insecurity in Kogi State to make it an economic hub.
“You have challenged some of us with your leadership style and you have been very courageous in expressing your views whether it is bitter or sweet. Most importantly, I want to thank you for galvanising the people of Nigeria for a united nation. God has brought us together as a nation and we are stronger together as a nation,” he said.
He said though there could be misunderstanding, what was needed is patience and tolerance.
Ikpeazu said he would never be a party to those calling for the balkanisation of Nigeria, saying the country would be stronger and better off as a united nation.
Highlights of the visit included presentations of gift items by Governor Ikpeazu to his visiting colleague. The items comprise clothes and shoes locally made in Aba, Abia State as well as a compendium containing the achievements of Governor Ikpeazu in various sectors of the state.
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