Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday reiterated that agitations for creation of Biafra and Arewa youths’ ultimatum for Igbos to leave the North are unlawful and against the Nigerian Constitution.
He stated this during his opening speech at a consultation meeting with traditional rulers from the South East led by Eze Udo 1 of Mgboko Ngwa Amaise in Abia State and Chairman of South East traditional rulers, Eze Eberechi Dick, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the manner, method and objectives of the agitations are wrong. The agitations, he said, deserve to be dealt with in accordance with the country’s constitutional provisions.
Osinbajo said that where there were grievances to be addressed, the only way to make anything right is by doing it right, instead of threatening to break the law or the country.
“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 north states, under the aegis of Arewa youths have purportedly issued an ultimatum where they have said 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 the 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 Two 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 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.
“But we must be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of this country. Many have to do with perceived marginalization, 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 said
He assured that the Federal Government is committed to listening to all the reasons, the various suggestions and the various agitations in order to ensure that justice is done to all persons.
The meeting was a continuation of Osinbajo’s consultations with leaders of thoughts and traditional rulers from the North and South Eastern regions of the country, following the escalation of ethnic tensions occasioned by the agitation for Biafra and the vacation order issued by Northern youths for Igbo to quit the North.
Present at the meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Da-Allah
Others include Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Staff Abayomi Olonoshakin, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, National Security Adviser, Babangana Mongonu, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and other top government officials.