Deputy Speaker, Kalu, Emir of Bauchi meet for North-South Peace Talk


Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has welcomed a proposal for a stronger collaboration between the northern and the southern regions with regards to peace and unity of country.


Kalu expressed his readiness for the collaboration during a visit by the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji (Dr.) Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu to his private office in Abuja. 


This is contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the deputy speaker, Mr. Levinus Nwabughiogu on Tuesday. 


Speaking through his interpreter, Hon. Ibrahim Bala, a former member of Bauchi State House of Assembly, the Emir said that they heard about the Peace In South East Project (PISE-P) initiated by the Deputy Speaker and decided to identify with the initiative. 


Proposing a similar project between north and the south to help deepen their mutual relationship, Alhaji Adamu also hinted the deputy speaker of an impending peace conference and requested his participation as well. 


He said: “In Bauchi, we use a kind of system which we call community governance. We need to use community governance to bring about peace. Community governance is a very huge topic, you can look into that and see how you can incorporate it into your project. 


“It tackles a lot of issues, because you have to work with the people. Community engagement is very important.


“His highness is here, he’s ready to rally round the traditional institutions in the north to be part of this project.


“We want action. Recently, His Highness launched a foundation in his emirate, his late father started the foundation with the aim of uplifting the people of Bauchi state up to a doctorate level. 


“We want to start empowering people in the villages so they can excel in the society. Eminent personalities in that foundation, we will like to use that platform to have a relationship with your project so that we can have a peace conference in Bauchi, all Emirs will be there.


“His Highness is really interested in seeing peace between north and south. There has to be a sort of peace accord between the North and South”.


In his remarks, the Deputy Speaker lauded the proposal, calling for the restoration of strong partnership amongst the different regions of the country.


Kalu who was elated by the visit of the Emir said that the beauty of Nigeria is found in its diversity. 


“No region lives in isolation of the other.

We were better off when our partnership was strong with other regions of the country. When the north felt safe in southeast and we felt safe in the north, it was better. And it has been the longing in my heart and in the heart of other nationalists to bridge this dividend.

And the north couldn’t have sent anybody better than the man that has shown by example that peace remains a possible task in his region.


“Look at Bauchi. It’s calm, no matter the trouble happening because of people like him around the king and around the governor, implementing what he just described now: community governance and the extension of the hand of fellowship for us to partner and restore the dignity of our relationship between the north and the south is something that is worthy of commendation and emulation.


“And I want to tell you that this is what we’ll be looking for. This handshake across the Niger. There’s no sufficient handshake across the Niger. And some of us said no. We are Nigerians in the beauty of its diversity. That is what makes us Nigerians. If you make us only Igbos, we will not enjoy it. If we see you only as northerners, you will not enjoy it.


“Our beauty as a nation is found in the colors around our variety, our diversity, our different languages, our different religion. That is what makes us who we are in this country. And we want that restored. It is not a disadvantage, it is an advantage. So, we must leverage that advantage as a powerful nation. So, I am happy that the dignity is about to be restored. And you did not stop just introducing your agenda. 


“You went on to say the action plan;  peace conference in the north, bringing especially the southeast and the northeast together, looking at the first phase, because we have phase one, phase two, phase three, this first phase is southeast, come to northeast to dialogue and create a peace accord. At the end of that engagement, are we willing to do that as agents of peace, as ambassadors of peace, as disciples of peace, this is what we’ll be longing for because when northerners were moving around freely, doing their businesses around the southeast, our businesses prospered.


“I’m happy to hear that he’s willing to coordinate other traditional rulers in the north. I have a lot of respect for the traditional institution, and I also believe that the traditional institution has the solution to our various problems.”

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