A former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; a former United Nations Secretary-General, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali; and a former Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda, are among eminent Africans that will intervene in the current political impasse in Rivers State.
The Secretary of the Akasoba Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Jen Clarence, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Clarence said the intervention was at the instance of the Akasoba of Kalabari and Chair of ACPCR, Queen Akasoba Duke-Abiola.
Besides the mediators, Clarence said an invitation had gone to President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, to attend the reconciliation meeting slated for August 3 at the ACPCR Centre in River State.
Others to attend the meeting are all traditional rulers from Rivers State; Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; a former Rivers State Governor, Air Marshal Ernest Adeleye, and a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mofia Akobo.
The statement read, “The peace meeting became necessary in view of the seemingly intractable socio-political problems presently besieging our beloved Rivers State, and taking into consideration the need for reason and moderation at these trying times of our nascent democracy.
“The ACPCR will through the meeting focus on the restoration of peace and progress in Rivers State, the need for creation of more states, as well as the need to continue to maintain the indissolubility of the Nigerian nation-state.”
The statement quoted Queen Akasoba as saying that as an alumna of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, she could not fold her arms while there was crisis in the state.
It added, “I have been involved in peace efforts and conflict resolution around the world. It is therefore necessary that we deploy some vital strategic appurtenances and modus operandi designed to bring lasting peace in Rivers State, Niger Delta and in Nigeria.
“As stakeholders in the state, we cannot fold our hands and watch our motherland destroyed. It is imperative that we end this crisis before it metamorphoses into a full scale war.”
It was not clear as of press time whether Jonathan and Amaechi, who reportedly met on Friday night, would attend the meeting.