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Gibson Achonu, Owerri
Speakers of the 36 state Houses of Assembly in the country have condemned, in totality, all forms of prejudice, discrimination, hate speech, quit notices and secessionist moves.
The speakers also berated agitations by various ethnic, political and religious groups threatening the unity, oneness, progress and territorial integrity of the country.
They maintained that the above ills, if not condemned and taken position on, were provocative and also posed a threat to the national security and oneness of Nigeria.
Noting that silence at this time could be seen as an endorsement of agitations, the speakers said they came together to take a position on the matter.
At a Joints Unity Session at the Imo State House of Assembly, Owerri, presided over by the Imo State House of Assembly Speaker, Dr. Acho Ihim, the speakers said they were concerned that there had been a surge in secessionist and separatist agitations across the country, orchestrated by various ethnic, political and religious groups.
They, however, resolved that any ethnic group or person(s) with complaints/grievances should channel such through their elected representatives at both the federal and states levels.
Their resolutions partly read, “All Nigerians have the inalienable rights to reside in any part of Nigeria and do their business anywhere in Nigeria without fear of intimidation, molestation, injury or seizure of moveable or immoveable property.
“The Federal Government, state governments, local governments and traditional council rulers should be alive to their responsibilities of protecting the lives and property of all citizens and improving governance, while religious leaders should properly guide and advise their members to tow the part of love, peace and mutual coexistence.
“The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is urged to direct all security agencies to monitor the activities of groups and ensure that perpetrators of violence and breach of the peace are promptly and decisively dealt with in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“All ethnic, political and religious groups, herdsmen, farmers, aggrieved ethnic groups and agitators are urged to stop all hostilities and any act that is capable of triggering crisis.”
Earlier in his address of welcome, Ihim, who is also the President, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (African Region), stated that there was the need to end terrorism, hate speech, sectional, group and ethnic agitations, inequality and injustice, among other societal vices.
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