PRESS STATEMENT MARCH 7, 2016.
Leaders of ethnic groups resident in the troubled Mile 12 area of Lagos state have been urged to sheath their swords and embrace peaceful coexistence.
The call came on the heels of a two day mayhem that left scores either dead or wounded. Most of the victims were women and hapless school pupils singled out for violent attacks.
The incidence led to the wanton destruction of properties and the killing of innocent Nigerians, mostly women and children in the clash said to be between alleged Hausa motorcyclists and Yoruba in the area.
In a joint statement under the auspices of Peoples Network for Ethnic Harmony, PENEH, the groups bemoan the unfortunate loss of human lives and properties, urging the disputants to respect the sanctity of human lives and stick to the principle of good neighborliness.
The statement was signed by leaders of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Odua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC, The United Middle Belt Youth Congress, UMBYC, The Igbo Youth Alliance, (IYA) and Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER.
The groups are also charge the security operatives to bring to book perpetrators of the heinous crimes.
“We are meeting the leaders of the various ethnic groups in the Mile 12 area. For the past 15 years, the area has enjoyed relative peace, until the latest incidence. We urge stakeholders to live in peace and harmony, and embrace dialogue in resolving their differences”. The groups said innocent and poor people are often the victims of violence and the killing and spread of hate are ill winds that will bring no on any good.
The group however urged warring factions to embrace peace and should not give the crisis any ethnic colouration to avoid further mayhem.
The statement was signed by leaders of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF
Odua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC
The United Middle Belt Youth Congress, UMBYC
Igbo Youth Alliance
Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER