The United Nations has called on different ethnic tribes and groups in Nigeria to be more tolerant to ensure unity and peace in the country. The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said this in a statement Thursday.
Kallon noted with concern media reports of an ultimatum issued by northern youth groups calling for all Igbo people to leave Northern Nigeria by October 1. He noted the ultimatum followed a sit-down-strike observed in the five states in South East Nigeria on May 30, purportedly meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Biafra.
“We have to work together to resolve peacefully any concern that different groups in the country may have. “I am heartened by reactions of leaders from all over the country condemning this ultimatum.
“UN calls for tolerance and a spirit of togetherness in transparency to address the concerns of all the citizens in a peaceful manner,” Kallon said. He said this should be done in such a way that no one was left behind in the quest for sustainable development.
The coordinator especially urged cultural and religious leaders to play their part in guiding the youth to settle differences peacefully. Kallon also stressed the need to re-invigorate the National Peace Committee, as it could play a role in addressing the current concerns that impinge on the peace of the country.
He recalled that the committee worked tirelessly during the election period in 2015. “Nigeria is a great country with immense potential to build the welfare of its population and lead Africa in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This can only be achieved in an atmosphere of the rule of law and peace where all citizens live happily irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. “I commend the Federal and State Governments, youth and civil society leaders, security agencies, cultural and religious leaders for their efforts to promote peace in the country.
“The UN is ready to continue supporting Nigeria to build an enduring democracy in peace, prosperity, and respect for diversity,” Kallon said. (NAN)