FG will no longer tolerate threats to National Unity- Yemi Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that the Federal Government will no longer condone any threat to Nigeria’s unity by individuals, groups or sec­tions of the country.

He vowed that security agencies will fish out those who continue to threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria or lives and livelihoods of other Nigerians living in any part of the country.

Osinbajo declared the government’s position on Tuesday at a meeting with traditional rulers from the northern states as part of his consultations with Nigerian leaders to douse the grow­ing ethnic tensions across the nation.

The tension reached a climax a fortnight ago when some northern youths is­sued a three-month quit notice to Igbos living in the region following a sit-at-home exercise called by pro-Biafra secessionists on May 30, 2017 to mark 50 years of the struggle for the Republic of Biafra in the South East.

The Acting President ac­knowledged that there were frustrations and grievances by Nigerians, but cautioned that they should not degenerate into the type of crisis prevailing in the country.

He therefore called on the royal fathers to advise their sub­jects appropriately while the gov­ernment creates a congenial en­vironment for every ethnic or religious group to thrive.

Osinbajo said: “In all our previous engagements with Northern and South Eastern leaders, we all came to the con­sensus that Nigeria is strong­er and better together, and that these hate-filled and divisive rhetoric and agitations are un­justifiable, unacceptable and il­legal.”

“Nigeria has seen enough vi­olence and bloodshed in its his­tory; the price of our unity has already been paid in the blood and lives of hundreds of thou­sands of soldiers and civilians.”

“As royal fathers and leaders, I think you will agree with me that we all have a role to play in countering the voices of divisive­ness, and the elements who seek to take us down a bloody path.”

“Let us continue to counsel the misguided elements among our youths, who think that eth­nic confrontation is a game and that words can be thrown around carelessly without re­percussion.”

“Having said this, let me de­clare that we are not deaf to the legitimate concerns and frus­trations arising from around the country. Every part of Nige­ria has its own grievances. But these have to be expressed gra­ciously and managed with mutu­ality rather than with scorn and disdain.”

“I will like to assure you all that we are here to listen and to answer, and, very importantly, to reassure everyone that we are committed to the unity of Nige­ria, and that upon the founda­tion of that unity we can togeth­er build a prosperous and great country”.

The Acting President also told the northern leaders that, “we must never take our diver­sity for granted; the fullness of our strength actually lies in that diversity. And we must wield that diversity, not as a divisive tool, but instead as a binding agent.”

“As we round up these con­sultations tomorrow (Wednes­day) with a meeting with gover­nors, it is clear to me that we are all resolved to by words, conduct and action, promote the unity of our dear nation.”

Osinbajo said that the gov­ernment would ensure that the entire apparatus of government is deployed to ensure that no one threatens Nigeria’s territorial in­tegrity, the lives or livelihoods of any Nigerian living anywhere in the federation.

“Our objective is to provide the environment for a prosper­ous nation, a nation where all re­gardless of ethnicity or religion can pursue their legitimate aspi­rations peacefully and securely.”

The meeting was attended by the representative of the Sen­ate President, Ibn N’Allah, who is also the Deputy Senate Leader; the Speaker of the House of Rep­resentatives, Hon. Yakubu Doga­ra; the Chief of Staff to the Presi­dent, Abba Kyari; the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Og­bonaya Onu; the Minister of the Interior, Abdulrahman Danbaz­zau; the National Security Advis­er (NSA), Babagana Munguno and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin.

The traditional rulers who were led by the Sultan of Soko­to, Abubakar Sa’ad, included Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe from Niger State. the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin; Alhaji Mustapha Agwai II, the Emir of Lafia; Jacob Buba Jang, the Gbong Gwon Jos.

Others were Ndakwo Ameh Oboni II, the Attah Igala; Prof. James Ayatse, the Tor Tiv; Ad­amu Buba Baba Yinusa, the Emir of Abaji, FCT; Alhaji Mu­hammed Isah Muhammed, the Emir of Jama’a in Kaduna State; and Justice Lawal Hassan, the Emir of Gumi and Coordinator of the Northern Traditional Rul­ers’ Council.

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