The Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo also cautioned persons agitating for secession and the northern groups that issued ultimatum to Igbo risked jail terms as they violated the existing Nigeria’s laws and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
This was also disclosed at the consultative forum with traditional rulers from the South-East Nigeria at the Presidential Banquet Hall, FCT, Abuja, on Sunday 18 June 2017.
The Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo further said “I want to repeat that both the agitations for secession and the ultimatum to leave the northern states are wrong and a violation of our Constitution.
“Our Constitution says in Section 2 that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name `The Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
“That is the law of our country. Let us not be in any doubt about the fact that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that our country remains united.
“And, anyone who violates the law in the manner such as we are seeing all over the place will be met with the full force of the law.
“The reason why it is so is because for Nigeria’s unity, enough blood has been spilled and many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost.’’
That Nigerians had paid the ultimate supreme price to keep the country united and progressive
“it will be wrong for men and women of goodwill in this generation to toy with those sacrifices that had been made’’.
“Many have to do with perceived marginalization; some have argued that safety in the different zones has been compromised.
“But I want to say the only way to make things right is to do things right. And, it will be wrong of us to approach even our grievances by threatening to disobey the laws or by threatening the integrity of our nation.’’
However, he said there was a need to be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of the country including what he called “perceived marginalisation.”
“Many have to do with perceived marginalisation, some have argued safety in the different zones have been compromised. But I want to say the only way to make things right is to do things right. And it will be wrong of us to approach even our grievances by threatening to disobey the laws or by threatening the integrity of our nation.
He noted, “What the federal government is committed to do is by ensuring we listen to all the reasons, the various suggestions and the various agitations and the reasons for those agitations and to ensure that we do justice by all persons regardless of where you are from in this country. That is the commitment of federal government which I am able to make to you today.
“I recall that President Muhammadu Buhari said that as a person who served in the Nigeria Army committed his life to the service of this country and that he did so not alone but with others from the north, south, west and east of Nigeria. And that he fought side by side from the Congo to some many related places where he has served the country, protecting each others lives and ensuring that all of them were save.
“That, in the Nigerian Army they were men and women from all parts of Nigeria and that is the reason according to him, why he is so committed in ensuring that Nigeria remains one united country
“Our greatness lies in our being together and I believe very strongly that as our royal fathers you will ensure the message is clear to all. That the greatness of any people lies in their ability to work together despite our differences, despite the types of offense that have been caused between each other, the greatness of any community lies in our unity. We trust that you our royal fathers will give us he right directional advise to ensure that our country remains together.
Dignitaries present during the meeting in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, FCT, Abuja included, Eze Godwin Chijeoke, Igwe Julius Nnaji, Igwe Raphael Eze, Lawrence Ogubuzo, HRM Samuel Agunwa, Igwe Apostle Kingsley Chime, Eze Cosmas Agwu, Eze Raphael Ikegwuruka, HRM Olivel Ohanwe.
Also in attendance during the closed door meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremamdu, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Mongunu (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwuka and Minister of Science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu among others.
“Men of goodwill in our generation must not tolerate any tendency that drags us in the direction of yet another civil conflict.