Romanus Ugwu and Juliana Taiwo Obalonye, Abuja
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum rose from several hours meeting at the Abuja home of the former Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma, with an appeal to him; to save the country from further chaos and bloodshed.
The high-powered delegation who visited Danjuma, yesterday, included Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Ambassador Godswill Igali and Dr. Ferdinand Agu. Others were Chief Olu Falae, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, Chief C O Adebanjo, Dan Suleman, Chief Tonye Douglas, Chief Broderick Bozimo, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Yinka Odumakin, Col. Tony Nyiam, Ben Dike, Marian Yunusa; among others.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, said the consultation with Danjuma became necessary, in order to find solutions to the bloodshed in the country.
“This is the delegation of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum. We are consulting all the important people in our polity. You saw us at the National Assembly, speaking to the leadership of the Senate a few months ago. General Danjuma is an elder statesman and a non-partisan politician.
“Danjuma is retired from both political and civil service obligations bu,t he remains a very strong neutral voice in our country and the armageddon that has befallen us, given the quantum of bloodshed that we waste on the daily basis and the lack of strong political direction, regarding the solution.
“This forum has decided to have an outreach to all personalities in the country who can bring influence to bear on our polity so that peace and unity returns in the country.
“We had a very useful discussion and as a father, he has promised that he will do everything within his power to ensure that he continues to be a voice of reasoning and a voice reconciliation.
“He has promised to be a voice of advocation for the correct way and path to follow in our polity,” chief Nwodo said.
Asked if the forum discussed the issue of ranching, he said: “There was no reason for it to arise because it was part of the general issue that we raised regarding the instability in our country and the waste of blood.
“We did not seek his specific reaction on any of these points. We just wanted to bring to his attention the issues that we represent and our worry that the nation is sliding into chaos and we needed him, as an elder statesman, to advocate the voice of reasoning, diplomatically, and quietly, now, when it becomes necessary to ensure that we do not go into the ambit of instability,” he said.