PISE-P is a Platform for Handshake with Ndi Igbo- Northern Emir
The Emir of Bichi, Dr. Nasir Ado Bayero has applauded the unveiling of Peace In South East Project (PISE-P), saying it has provided another opportunity for a handshake between the south east and the northern Nigeria.
Bayero’s declaration was contained in his remarks during the recent unveiling of the project in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State.
The project, an initiative of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, is canvassing for a non kinetic approach to resolving the sociological and security challenges in the south east.
Bayero expressed optimism that the project will attend to the employment need of the youth in the region by creating job opportunities and ultimately empowering them.
The Emir also recalled the long standing relationship between his late father, His Highness, Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero and the people of the south east through late Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, a former Brigade Commander at the Army Barack, Kano; the President-General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and the billionaire business man and philanthropist, Chief Arthur Eze.
He said: “For me, I consider it a privilege to attend this occasion, to enable me follow the path of my late father, His Highness, Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero, who has a long historical relationship with the people of the southeast, especially, late Ikemba Odumegu Ojukwu, Chief Emmanuel Iwanyawu, Chief Arthur Eze and many other highly respected and distinguished Igbo men.
“I can recall very well, from 1963 to 1966 when the then Col. Odumegu Ojukwu was serving in Kano as a Brigade Commander at the Army Barack, Kano, they developed a very close personal relationship to the extent that Col. Ojukwu will drive to the emir’s palace for an evening tea and the late Emir on many occasions is a guest at the annual WASA festival at the Barrack and attend cocktail parties and dinners at the residence of the then Col. Ojukwu to honour visiting dignitries.
“It is also on record that my late father His Highness Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero and the late Ooni Ife Okunade Sijuade II were able to create and sustain a network friends and created symbiotic relationships across the North and South of Nigeria which became a veritable tool in bringing unity and political stability in Nigeria, especially during the unfortunate June 12 Political Crisis.
“They play a key role in stabilizing the polity and ensuring the long harmonious relationship the bind our country, the north, the east, the south and the west together were regenerated and confidence restored.
“I wish to use this medium and inform my audience that the Federal Military Government of Nigeria under the leadership of Gen. Yakubu Gowon at various times leverage on the relationship between my late father and the late Ikemba of Nnewi Chief Odumegu Ojukwu leader of Biafra to commence engagement that led to the peaceful resolution of the Nigerian Civil War issues between the two warring parties which culminated into the cessation of war in 1967.
“I therefore wish to thank and appreciate His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu for initiating this ambitious project and for extending to us a “handshake across the Niger” to be part of this peace in the south-east project and its attendant benefits of youth empowerment, engagement and provision of employment opportunities”.