Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Army chief sues for peace in Onitsha

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, on Wednesday appealed to residents of Onitsha and other South East cities not to embark on reprisals against northerners in their midst following Monday’s bombing of passenger buses in Sabon Gari, Kano, that killed more than 30 passengers, most of them from the South-East.
Addressing stakeholders at the Officers’ Mess, 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigeria Army, Onitsha, Ihejirika represented by the General Officer Commanding 82 Div, Nigeria Army, Enugu, Maj. Gen. Adebayo Olaniyi, commended the maturity of the Igbo in handling the situation while saying that reprisals would not resolve the current security crises in Nigeria.
Describing the Kano bombings as unfortunate, Ihejirika said the Nigerian Army was on top of the situation.
Olaniyi said the Army was in Onitsha to douse the mounting tension and to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.
The Commander of the 302 Artillery Regiment, Col. T. A. Gagariga thanked the Army Chief for his intervention in the affairs of the masses and promised to make sure there was peace in the state.
Also, a group, Njiko Igbo, and a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, have condemned Sunday’s suicide bombing in Kano.
The National/Diaspora Publicity Secretary of Njiko Igbo, Brady Nwosu, in a statement, said the suicide bombing was more devastating to the Igbo race as it occurred in an area more populated by people of South-East.
Nwosu said, “We believe most of them were the Igbos because the area the bomb exploded is largely occupied by Igbo traders and businessmen.”
Kalu, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Oyekunle Oyewumi, urged the government to fish out the perpetrators of the bombings in Kano and Maiduguri, Borno State.
Oyewumi said, “He (Kalu) said he was shocked by the attacks and called on Nigerians to engage the government in constructive criticism and dialogue rather than engaging in bombing and unjust attacks.”
Meanwhile, security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has urged transport facility operators in the country to urgently protect the facilities against terrorist threat.
Ekhomu said in a statement on Wednesday that robust security measures at land transport facilities including bus stations, interstate taxi parks and state-owned transport corporations must be put in place as well as protection of railway terminals, river transport jetties and airports throughout the country.
“Since transportation infrastructure has been targeted by Boko Haram terrorists, there is a need to beef up security of these terminals in order to arrest future terrorist bombings,” he said.

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