ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the Federal Government will address all reasons that are responsible for the present agitations in the country.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with south east traditional rulers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Sunday, he however reiterated his warning that agitators who violate the laws of the country would be sternly dealt with.
He noted the agitation from the south east and the response of a group of northern youth who he observed were wrong in their approaches.
Osinbajo added: “But we must be sensitive to the reasons there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of this country.
“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.
“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.”
Stressing the need for the consultations with leaders, the acting President told the royal fathers that some youths from their region were agitating for secession as creation of Biafra.
According to him, “As you are aware there has been agitation from some of our youths in the south east urging secession, the creation of Biafra.
“In apparent response, young people in the northern states, under the aegis of Arewa youths have purportedly issued an ultimatum where they have set a date for the eviction of persons from south east region who live in the northern states.
“Those agitations, the manner of those agitations, the method and objective are wrong, unlawful and a violation of the laws of Nigeria and the constitution of Nigeria.
“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.”
Osinbajo remarked that the federal government is committed to the unity of Nigeria because so much blood had already been shed in the attempt to keep the country united.
His words: “Let us not be in any doubt about the fact that the federal government is committed to ensuring that our country remains united, and that 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.
“And the reason why it is so is because Nigeria’s unity, enough blood has been spilled and many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost.
“Many have paid for the unity of this country with their lives and it will be wrong of us as men and women of goodwill in this generation to toy with those sacrifices that have been made.
“This is why men of goodwill in our generation must not tolerate any tendency that drags us in the direction of yet another civil conflict.”
He explained that the greatness of the country lies in togetherness and therefore admonished the royal fathers to take the message back to their subjects.
He further stated: “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 the right directional advice to ensure that our country remains together.”
The south east royal fathers consisting chairmen of the council of traditional rulers in each of the five south east states, were led Eze Udo 1 of Mgboko Ngwa Amaise in Abia State, Eze Eberechi Dick, who is also Chairman of Southeast traditional rulers.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Senate President Bukola Saraki represented by Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’alla; Speaker, House of Representatives. Yakubu Dogara; Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonishakin; Director General of Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ministers among others.