A pro-democracy group, `Nigeria Peace Project’, on Thursday in Abuja called for peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in Nigeria.
The convener of the group, Mr. Francis Ako, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Ako, who emphasized that Nigeria is in dire need of peace and oneness, pointed out that the country can only record rapid development in a peaceful atmosphere.
While advocating stronger synergy among security agencies to tackle insecurity facing the country, Ako urged those involved in criminality to desist from their acts.
According to him, the group will embark on a peaceful rally in all the 774 local government areas across the country to canvass for sustainable peaceful coexistence and unity in the country.
He said that the rally tagged `Mega rally for peace’ is scheduled for July 17.
“The “mega rally for peace in Nigeria’’ will serve as a platform for we the youth to demonstrate our determination to support security agencies in the fight against criminality in the country.
“It is a call on youths who are involved in criminality to desist from their acts of kidnapping, rape, armed robbery, killings.
“There will be no meaningful development if we must continue this way thus the need to refrain from such acts.
“No doubt, a house cannot stand if it is divided among itself. Even in friendship, if there is no unity, it cannot thrive. So we need to be united,’’ Ako said.
He urged traditional and religious institutions to intensify efforts in sensitizing their subjects to understand the need to embrace peace always.
Ako said that members of the group would be forced to apprehend criminals in their communities and hand them over to the security agencies.
“We are issuing this warning because we know that criminal youths live among us.
“We are giving them from now till Dec. 31 after which we will start operation identify your work.
“And those we find to be of criminal elements, we will apprehend and hand over to the police for prosecution,’’ he said.
Ako also cautioned separatist groups to stop the clamor for the break-up of the country.
He said: “those who are clamoring for Nigeria’s breakup should know that nothing will make Nigeria break up because Nigeria is indivisible’’.
Ako added that the current insecurity facing the country was preventing investors from coming into Nigeria.
“This is also causing us a lot of job opportunities; investors have refused to come in and invest and this is as a result of the insecurity.
“How can investors come and invest where they cannot guarantee their safety,” Ako said.
He said that the group would sponsor a bill that would provide for the compulsory study of criminality in the country’s tertiary education system. (NAN)