Buhari tells pro-Biafra protesters, militants: ‘Forget about Nigeria breaking up’

    President Buhari
    President Buhari

    President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sent a message to some restive groups – they should forget about Nigeria breaking up.

    The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)have been attacking oil facilities. The Indigenous People of Biafra and the Movement for the Emancipation of Biafra (MASSOB) have been pushing for a Biafra State, independent of Nigeria.

    But, Buhari insists that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.

    IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu, who is also the director of the separatist and illegal Radio Biafra, is on trial for alleged treason, among other charges

    The president was emphatic yesterday that anybody seeking the break-up of the country should perish the thought.

    He spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents paid him an Eid-el-Fitri homage.

    The President said the slogan in the 1970s, “Go On With One Nigeria” (GOWON), is very apt now as keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done”.

    He urged the militants to give peace a chance.

    Noting that there is a lot of improvement on security in the Northeast, Buhari said the attention has now shifted to the Niger Delta.

    He said: “On security, we have made a lot of improvement. There is improvement in the battle against Boko Haram. We are now concentrating on the militants to know how many of them in terms of groupings, leadership and plead with them to try and give Nigeria a chance.

    “I assure them that the saying by Gen. Yakubu Gowon (a former Head of State) that ‘to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done is still relevant. In those days, we never thought of oil, all we were concerned about was one Nigeria. So, please pass this on to the militants – that one Nigeria is not for negotiation and they had better accept it.

    “The Nigerian Constitution is clear as to what they should get and I assure them there will be justice.”

    Buhari urged those with plenty of money which does not belong to them to negotiate and return it in peace.

    “So that both they and us will be in peace; otherwise, we will continue to look for it,” the President added

    To solve some of the problems of agriculture, he said Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh was working very hard with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele to ensure that 13 states start rice production..

    According to him, the programme is good and giving the country confidence while many farmers are already going back to the field.

    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the past one year had been tough, adding that the administration was busy clearing the mess it met.

    He stressed the administration’s commitment to placing the country on a sound footing, acknowledging that things were already looking up.

    Minister of FCT Mohammed Bello, who led the delegation, prayed for God’s wisdom, good health and success for the President.

    The President was presented with Sallah greeting cards and a mirror.

    At the ceremony were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir David Lawal; Primate of the Church of Nigerian (Anglican Communion) rev. Nicholas Okoh; Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu; Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar; National Security Adviser Babagana Mongunu and Acting Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris.

    The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter, Israel Akanji and Dr. Kabir Adam of the National Mosque, Abuja were also part of the delegation. – Nigerianeye