The Executive Director, Nigerian Inter-faith Action Association, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, says Nigeria needs peace and harmony to be able to achieve meaningful development.
Onuoha said this on Saturday while addressing a large crowd of people, who participated in an early morning walk round Umuahia tagged: `Walk for Peace.’’
The event was organised by Vision Africa Radio, Umuahia as part of the activities to mark Onuoha’s 52nd birthday.
He said that Nigeria needed peace to successfully harness its abundant natural and material resources for progress and economic development.
The executive director decried the spate of insurgency and other divisive tendencies in the country and called on Nigerians to come together and work for the peace and unity of the nation.
“When there is crisis and destruction of lives and property, there will be no peace. We are using this opportunity to ask every Nigerian to maintain peace.
“We should all be allowed to exist, regardless of age, religion and tribal differences,” he said.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything at his disposal to ensure that every Nigerian enjoyed peace, adding, “we elected the president primarily to protect Nigerians, every other thing is secondary.”
Onuoha, who expressed worry over the level of youth unemployment in the country, called for concerted government initiatives to tackle the situation which he described as a time bomb.
The bishop urged the Federal Government to explore all avenues to foster peace among the various ethnic groups in the country.
He underscored the importance of a viable opposition that would regularly offer constructive and intelligent criticism against unfavourable government policies and programmes.
He urged the president to readily accept objective views from the opposition in order for the nation’s democracy to move forward.
Onuoha, who expressed his support for the president’s war against corruption, however, warned against selective justice, saying that arrested corrupt public officials must face judicial process.
Speaking on the prevailing cases of abduction of young girls and forcing them into marriage, Onuoha said that such societal aberrations should be treated with the laws of the land as provided in the constitution.
He expressed the hope that Nigeria would come out of the current crisis threatening its corporate existence, such as the Boko Haram insurgency and agitation by pro-Biafran and other general security challenges.
The walk for peace, which started from the premises of Vision Africa along Abia House of Assembly Road, passed through Ikot Ekpene, Aba, Azikiwe, Macaulay, Bende and St. Finbarr’s Roads back to the radio station via BCA Road.
Onuoha, who is a Bishop of the Methodist Church of Nigeria and the President of Vision Africa Radio, said that his greatest regret and pain in life was the period of the Nigeria civil war.
He prayed for greater unity and peace and hoped that the nation does not go through another war.