Addressing stakeholders at the Officers’ Mess, 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigeria Army, Onitsha, Ihejirika represented by the General Officer Commanding 82 Division,
Nigeria Army, Enugu, Major General Adebayo Olaniyi commended the maturity of Ndigbo in handling the situation while saying that reprisal attack would not solve the security challenges the country was facing.
He sued for peace in the entire South-East especially the commercial city of Onitsha while maintaining that Nigerian Army was on top of the security challenges, adding that the recent bombings in Kano was unfortunate and needed serious maturity to handle.
The army chief further disclosed that he was in Onitsha to douse the mounting tension of possible reprisal on non-natives especially on the northerners and appealed to traders and residents to remain calm, adding that the attack was not targeted on Igbos alone as other tribes including the northerners were also affected.
Olaniyi challenged all Nigerians to partner with the security agencies by giving out useful information that would help to nip in the bud terrorism such as the recent incident in Kano. “Fight against terrorism is a collective responsibility,” he said.
He also said the unity of the country was inevitable and thanked President Goodluck Jonathan and Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi for their commitment in the fight against terrorism. Responding, the Commander, 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.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Omagba community, Chief Akunwata Okeke, assured Nigerians of peace, adding that Igbos were not known for bloodletting, saying no amount of provocation from any militant group could blackmail Ndigbo into shedding of blood.