Buhari Vows To Keep Divided Nigeria Together
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed never to allow those he descried as “highly irresponsible” break up Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria.
The Nigerian leader believes the clamour for the country’s restructuring gave some groups the impetus to agitate for Nigeria’s breakup, which he said will not happen under his reign as commander in chief.
President Buhari made this known in a speech to mark Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary on Sunday.
Nigeria gained independence from Britain on 1 October, 1960, with late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa emerging as the country’s first and only Prime Minister.
Buhari said those agitating for another civil war that claimed two million lives were not born by 1967 and as such had no idea of the consequences of the conflict.
“In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded appreciable gains in political freedom. A political party at the centre losing governorship elections, National Assembly seats and even state assemblies to opposition parties is new to Nigeria,” he said.
Added to these is a complete freedom to associate, to hold and disseminate opinions. Such developments clearly attest to the country’s growing political development.
“Recent calls for re-structuring, quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We cannot and we will not allow such advocacy.
As a young army officer, I took part from the beginning to the end of our tragic civil war costing about two million lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a rerun were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.
He also spoke about the Niger Delta region, commending leaders of the oil-rich area for sustaining the peace.
Government is keeping up the momentum of dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to keep the peace. We intend to address genuine grievances of the communities.
“Government is grateful to the responsible leadership of those communities and will pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta.”