Senator representing Imo East Senatorial zone, Senator Chris Anyanwu has explained why the South East choose to hold a summit with leaders of the Yoruba in the South West region.
Last week, a summit tagged “ Handshake Across the Niger” was held in Enugu where Igbo leaders brainstormed on the way forward with their Yoruba counterparts.
In an interview with the Vanguard, Senator Anyanwu said the Igbos and Yorubas have not held formal talks for a long time
“Our governors have been talking, but the Igbo and the Yoruba have not had any formal talks.
“And I think it is time for the people themselves to talk and that is what happened, to bring the people from both sides to sit down and talk because this had never happened before because of history and misunderstandings.
“A lot of things that happened in the past and all that. Even the Aguiyi-Ironis – Fajuyi incident, people did not understand it in the correct sense, did not see the heroism and patriotism of Fajuyi; all that was misunderstood, and because of that it did shape the kind of relationship between the two.
“So, we think that it is time to begin to talk and begin to see ways the two can work together for the good of the nation. If these two formidable blocs should come together and work for the good of this nation, Nigeria will be better for it. Other groups and minorities are looking for leadership.
“As for the North, yes we have talked with the South-South, we have talked with the Southwest, and later, maybe we will go and talk with the North.
“If we encourage all parts of the country, all blocs to talk with their neighbours, if there were better conversations happening between let’s say the Middle Belt and their neighbours, maybe we would not be having the bloodbath that is going on now.
“It is a positive example that others should take up and run with.
The Northwest should talk with Northeast, and if they feel like talking with people in the South, they should do so and on and on it goes. No nation can survive with unending trouble.
“Look at how they are doing. Human life has been devalued in Nigeria; life doesn’t mean a thing. I think this will help if people begin to talk and try to understand each other instead of sitting down in one corner and building suspicion and building all kinds of imaginations and reasons why people did this or did that.”