Friday, November 8, 2013

Jonathan Worried About Rivers Crisis as Gowon Calls for Peace

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed his deep concern over the political crisis in Rivers State on November 7, 2013, Thursday.
The President urged those behind the development to sheathe their swords in his speech addressed to a centenary symposium organised to mark 100th anniversary of Port Harcourt. He also said he was deeply pained by the crisis, which he blamed on rivalry among politicians. The President charged leaders in the state to take steps to resolve the crisis.
Goodluck Jonathan was represented by his Special Adviser on Documentation and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas.

“Even as we celebrate, I have observed with pains that the struggle for political space in recent times is creating unnecessary tension in this city, which had served all of us well. I believe that this is not what Port Harcourt deserves. We can all as fathers, mothers and leaders, do more to intervene and help douse the fire of partisan differences, in order to preserve the peaceful glory of Port Harcourt. This city will always be home to me and I believe, for millions of others as well.
“Port Harcourt is a special city. It is difficult to talk about Port Harcourt and not have a sentimental attachment to the city. Port Harcourt, whether in terms of palm oil or crude oil, is an oil city. Port Harcourt fills me with nostalgia. Port Harcourt is a city of hope,” he said.
General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), the chairman of the event and former Head of State, called for what he dubbed a centenary handshake between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi.
According to Gen. Gowon, the foregoing was the first step towards settling whatever differences existed between the two.
After the handshake and warm embrace between Governor Amaechi and Mr. Douglas, who represented the President, General Gowon assured that he was going to get President Jonathan to personally return the warm handshake from Governor Amaechi, probably in Abuja.
“I call this the centenary handshake. It was to be between the President and the governor and not with a representative. The handshake will be repeated in Abuja. I call it the centenary handshake,” he said.
Gowon said he was deeply disturbed by the crisis in the state as well.
The former Head of State appealed for peace, added that efforts should be made at all times to “preserve the sanctity of the state and “enable it serve as a beacon of hope.” 

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