Tony John, Port Harcourt
The 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has expressed its determination to ensure that in Rivers State, enjoy peace and live in harmony.
General Commanding Officer (GOC) of 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham stated this, on Monday, during a stalled reconciliation meeting for two warring Lewe and Bomu communities in Gokana Local Government Area of the state.
Gen. Sarham, who initiated the peace meeting, as part of Army’s mandate to ensure peaceful co-existence in the society, said the absence of one of the warring communities would not deter the Division from achieving lasting peace in the Gokana council and the state.
The Army boss, who spoke through the spokesman of the Division, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said the step taken falls under Civil Military Cooperation (CiMic), noting that the Division was not out to apportion blame to any of the communities.
According to Gen. Sarham, “We are determined to achieve peace not only in the two warring communities, but the entire Rivers State”.
In his remarks, Chairman of Gokana council, Paul Kobani, regretted the colossal destruction the warring communities had recorded in the crisis.
Kobani, who noted that only representatives of one of the warring communities attended the reconciliation meeting at the 6 Division, assured that he would not relent until lasting peace was achieved in the area.
According to Kobani, the GOC had visited the affected communities on September 20 to assess the level of damages the two communities recorded and had directed him (Kobani) to invite the two parties for the meeting at the headquarters of 6 Division, in Port Harcourt.
Kobani expressed that, “I want peace in Gokana Local Government Area. I will continue to do everything possible within my reach to ensure that we achieve lasting peace, not only in the two warring communities but the whole of Gokana.
“It is my duty to see peace returns in the affected areas. It is a call to duty.
“I thank God we have the JTF, which is working with other security agencies and the LGA to achieve peace.
“I will do everything within my reach to ensure that peace is brokered among the two communities”, the council boss stressed.