By Uju Mmadukor
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for calm over recent clashes in Abia State between the Nigerian army and the Indegenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The call was contained in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi.
Clashes between civilians, especially members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and soldiers of the Nigerian Army at the country home of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, started on Sunday, leaving two reported dead.
The clash snowballed into another confrontation on Tuesday, prompting Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to impose three-day dusk to dawn curfew on Aba, the commercial capital of Abia State.
Reacting, however, APC urged members of IPOB, Nigerian soldiers, journalists and others involved to exercise restraint as each party “owe the peace and unity of our dear country to the present and unborn generations.
“The Party also regrets the incident at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Umuahia, Abia State capital, where some journalists were assaulted. Commendably, the Nigerian Army has tendered its apology and is investigating the matter.
“While the party insists that security agencies must adhere with globally-stipulated rules of engagements and laws governing their operations, we must allow our security agencies to conduct their constitutional roles of securing lives and property without hindrance and provocation.
“We also call on citizens, social commentators, media influencers and other stakeholders to be careful and mindful of their utterances on the clashes. Stoking tensions by inciting utterances, hate speech and all other forms of awful propaganda will only push the country to the precipice,’’ the statement said.
While emphasising the need to avoid internal wars, the party enjoined aggrieved citizens to ensure their agitations are peaceful and lawful.
“We must not yield to elements beating the drumbeats of war. We must speak and stand up for peaceful coexistence on our social media platforms, places of worship and all other public spaces we belong.
“The party reiterates its belief that it is in our collective interest to support and remain steadfast to the cause of a united Nigeria.”