Your Royal Highnesses of communities in Akuku-Toru Local Government;
The Chairman of the occasion, my brother, Rear Admiral Antonio Bob-Manuel Rtd;
The Chairman of Council, Rowland Sekibo;
Distinguished Chiefs of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area here seated;
Members of the clergy;
The Service Chiefs of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
I welcome you to today’s event, which is the second event in the series. On the 13th of July, we held the peace walk where we came out in our numbers and expressed our desire to ensure peace and proper security in our local government. Thereafter, we have also met with all the youths in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area. We had an interactive session on Wednesday, where we discussed the causes of the breach of peace and ways of ensuring proper security in our local government. Today is the conference proper and we have obtained memoranda from different interest groups which we will collate, then issue a communiqué at the end of the day. Tomorrow will be a thanksgiving service. It is also a reconciliation service and we’re all invited to be there.
Akuku-Toru has been peaceful all along but from time to time, we get it wrong. But now, I can assure everybody that the issues of the past are past. There will be no longer any unrest in Akuku-Toru because we have all agreed to work together as one family. The politicians have agreed to work together as a family. The chiefs have agreed to work together as a family. The youths, the children have also agreed to work together as a family. Therefore, I can assure you that issues of breach of the peace are things of the past.
I will like to seize this opportunity to thank His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, for his untiring support to the peace and security of Rivers State and Akuku-Toru in particular. There is no time we call on him that he does not come rushing down to ensure that there is peace in our domain; and also similarly thank Admiral Antonio Bob-Manuel for the part he played in ensuring that in the difficult days of February 23rd when, out of fear, some of us abandoned the community, he worked very closely with me, along with other people, to calm things down and ensure that we’re allowed to come back to live in peace.
I want to seize this opportunity also to encourage everybody to be law-abiding and also to thank our keynote speaker for the in-depth research that he made and the very far-reaching suggestions that he made to us on how to live a peaceful life in our community. I assure you that the paper will be dissected properly and merged with all the memoranda contributed by different interest groups and we will come out with formable guidelines for peace and progress in Akuku-Toru Local Government that will be the envy of other local governments out of the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
I thank you so much for coming and I expect to see you tomorrow for the concluding part of this event.
Thank you very much.