Bishop Dr Sunday Onuoha has called on the people of the Eastern region to shun any further hatred existing among them and embrace forgiveness and reconciliation before it is too late.
The Global Peace Award Recipient, 2013, Board Member of the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) and President, Vision Africa in a statement said that the very essence of human existence has been threatened by a perpetuation of injury, violation and scarring of the region; which appears to be keep the people at war, adding that the pain of seeing the level of broken or fragmented relationships everywhere, gives room for a path of self-destruction.
He made reference to an insightful adage that “when brothers fight to death, a stranger inherits their property”, explaining that in view of the agony the region has witnessed over the years; “the pain and trauma that many people have gone through, and the various ways the lives and properties of our people in the South Eastern part of Nigeria have been negatively impacted, ” he said.
He said that by forgiving one another first and embracing dialogue and reconciliation, relationships can be regenerated.
I’m his words, “I therefore call for forgiveness and an attempt at reconciliation by all persons. If this does not happen- and happen fast- we shall all pay heavily for it and our children will not forgive us! The time to act is NOW!“Each group, both government and non-state actors claiming to be acting on behalf of our people and defending our welfare – key players – must be brought to the dialogue table.
“Let us begin by forgiving one another first. At the dialogue table, may we all relinquish all moral indignation, give up the desire for retaliation, and focus on the urgent need to regenerate our relationships.
As we break the ‘Kolanut of peace’ signifying our mindset is tuned to allow peace to reign, may this cognitive process give us a fuller understanding and recognition of what hurts the other, and together agree on how to address our individual differences while acknowledging and dealing with the past.
“We can do it, knowing fully well that there is no government that wants to manage an unstable/ungovernable society. Let us come together and extract commitments from every aggrieved party, as we frankly confront this hydra-headed enemy that threatens us.”
He added that families quarrel and therefore the IPOB leaders must see agony in the faces of the Easterners and therefore be ready to embrace forgiveness for one another no matter the offence.
“In a family we all quarrel. Even the tongue and teeth sometimes have misunderstandings. The leaders of IPOB must see the pain on the faces of our people and be willing to forgive anyone they feel have offended them.
“The state actors should also look for a way of forgiving the agitators and treat everyone as members of the same family who have their ways of expressing themselves in protest to perceived injustice.
“We must release or let go of justifiable emotion and retaliation related to the event and dismantle all enemy images and misrepresentations that demonize the “other”.
“I plead with all parties, in God’s name, to halt the carnage immediately, and take steps to heal the embattled land.”