Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-.Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, on Friday called on elites to avoid statements that could lead to violence if peace was to reign in the country.
Ihejirika made the call in Abuja at public presentation of The Pursuit of Providence, a Biography of Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, former Chief of Air Staff. It was written by Mr Madu Onuorah, Abuja Bureau Chief of the Guardian Newspaper.
Ihejirika said the country needed peace development and progress.
“Peace can only be possible if we the elites begin to mellow down on tribe or statement that can lead to violence.
“No matter how sweet or expedient it is to make such statement. The truth is that ordinarily, you do not choose who to buy pepper from when you want to eat in the restaurant.
“You do not ask if the owner is Yoruba or Ibo, you just buy. If a man is good, he is good irrespective of where he is coming from’’, he said.
He said one good way of fighting terrorism was for people to make information available to the military. He said this should be done by speaking with one voice rather than speaking in a manner that tend to create the impression that the country was divided.
“When I visited the U.S recently, people from my area that gave me reception asked: is Nigeria going to split?
“I said no, it is not going to split. Nobody is going anywhere, we are Nigerians and we are united”.
Former Minister of Defence, Alhaji Bello Mohammed, said the inter-service cooperation among the armed forces would bring the present challenge to an end.
Former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, called for continuity in government policies and programmes in order to move the country forward. (NAN)