Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra on Sunday said the proposed National Dialogue was critical to the country’s unity, as well as its peaceful and harmonious existence.
Obi made the observation in an interview with newsmen, while reacting to remarks credited to Gov. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi in some national dailies, on the futility of the dialogue.
The governor spoke shortly after a mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Umudioka in Dunukofia Local Governjmen Area, to mark the centenary celebration of the advent of Catholicism in the area.
“Chief Martin Elechi is a father to we (sic) the governors in the South-East. I have not spoken with him on the comments credited to him.
“I cannot comment on what he said or did not say, until I speak with him to know the context in which he spoke.
“I believe honestly that the comments were sensationalised. He is a man of wisdom, who chooses his words before uttering them”, Obi said.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan should rather be commended for his courage and statesmanship for organising a National Dialogue.
Obi said communication gap was one of the factors that usually triggered crisis in the country.
“It is about time we tell ourselves the truth. There are many things in the country that need clarification, definition and agreement.
“It is better we sort out those things through the meeting of minds, rather than the arbitrariness of strife and dissension”, the governor said.
He stressed the need for all Nigerians to give their total support to the initiative, saying the time was ripe for Nigerians to chart a new course for enduring peace, stability and progress.
On the centenary celebration, the governor stressed the need for self re-dedication and increased evangelisation of the people for peace and reconciliation.
Earlier in a sermon, the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, noted that the coming of the Church won many souls for Christ.
“It also brought education, and also produced many professionals, including Francis Cardinal Arinze”, he said.
On the theme of the mass, the Archbishop described the family as one of the most important gifts of God to humanity.
He charged family members to be alive to their responsibilities at all times. (NAN)