LOKOJA – Members of Igala-Ibo socio-cultural group have expressed determination to resolve the lingering dispute between Kogi and Anambra over oil fields.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Umar Aku-Goodman and Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, co-founders of the group and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja on Sunday.
The group said that the crisis over the ownership of the oil fields had led to wanton destruction of lives and property on both sides, adding that there was the need for amicable resolution to give peace a chance.
The statement said that the group, comprising Igala and Igbo leaders, was a merger of two organisations, a step that was adopted as part of measures to foster the desired peace between both states.
It added that the group had visited the Obi of Awka, Gibson Nwosu, at Awka, adding that the delegation was received by the monarch and Ohaneze Ndigbo leader and former governor of old Anambra, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
The co-founders said that Obi Nwosu condemned the idea of using violence to end crisis.
The statement quoted the Awka monarch as condemning the use of violence in the dispute and said that his heart often bled when people talked of war “while trying to define an interest over an issue’’.
“I was among the first Nigerians that started Nigerian Air Force in 1962. l was in the civil war in the country and I saw myself fighting my colleagues and course mates; it is not a good experience.
‘’We pray that we should not witness such things again,” he was quoted as saying.
Nwosu was said to have commended the group’s initiative and urged others to key in to stop the crisis between the two states.
The statement also quoted Mr Idechu Ikani, National President, Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), as saying that Igala and Ibo people in the two states had rich historical links which could not be ignored. (NAN)