Worried by the crisis in Rivers State, First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan on Monday called on all actors in the crisis to sheath their swords in the interest of the innocent citizens in the state.
In a statement issued by her Special Assistant on Media, Ayo Osinlu, the First Lady noted that the poor including women and children always bear the consequences of such impasse.
She also warned the political heavyweights in the state not to allow the crisis to be hijacked by miscreants and hoodlums.
The statement reads: “This office wishes to call on all feuding parties in Rivers State to spare a thought for the social, political and economic costs of the crisis, and consider an urgent way to resolve all political differences.”
“It is our position that the greater consequences of the impasse is, as usual, reserved for the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, especially women and children, who are usually innocent bystanders in all these.”
“This derives naturally from the saying that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
She went on: “On a larger scale, we subscribe to the fact that conflicts and violence are the most lethal threats to peace, which itself is the irreducible minimum condition for development.”
“The situation must therefore not be allowed to degenerate to a level that can be hijacked by miscreants and hoodlums, thus exposing everyone to insecurity from which there may be no easy escape.”
“We therefore call on elders of the state to position themselves appropriately in the circumstances, and continue to seek the highest good of Rivers state and its people, by stone-walling the activities of the few who would rather fan little embers into a consuming inferno.”
“Recent experience whereby certain otherwise respected elders of the country, both from within and outside Rivers State, were canvassing views that seemed to intensify the heat in Rivers State, is certainly unfortunate.”
“We also recall recent pictures of some youths on the streets of Port Harcourt, obviously in an angry mood, a worrisome suggestion that the crisis is already threatening to spill to the streets, a dimension we cannot afford to allow to escalate for obvious reasons.”
“We must stress that the people of the state desire and look forward to an end to the hostilities, to pave way for higher economic activities and nobler political engagements that will guarantee an enhancement of their welfare.”
“It is therefore incumbent on all people of goodwill to seek to restore peace, brotherliness and love in Rivers State, for the state to press forward in the direction of growth and progress.” She stated
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