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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged those contemplating Nigeria’s break-up to have a rethink, saying the country’s unity is not negotiable.
He said the question of having another country out of Nigeria was misplaced.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke at a meeting he had with the South-East Council of Traditional Rulers at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The question of having another country out of Nigeria is going to be very difficult. From 1914, we have more than 200 cultures living with one another. God had endowed this country with natural resources and talented people. We should concentrate on these and be very productive,” the President said.
Addressing specific issues raised in the address by the traditional rulers, the President gave the assurance that the South-East will also benefit from the new railway architecture being put in place by his administration.
On their request for more representation for the South-East in his government, the President said that he was “very conscious of the sensitivities of the South East”, on account of which, he gave the region’s four out of five states senior ranking Ministers in the Federal Cabinet.
Buhari used the occasion to appreciate the good work of the ministers from the region in the Federal Government, saying that they are doing very well for the country.
He appealed to the traditional rulers from the South East to persuade their people to give his government a chance and to continue to serve as beacons of culture and traditions of their people.
The President assured the delegation that kidnapping and cattle rustling, which he described as “unfortunate” will be the government’s next target, now that “we have managed to calm down the North-East.”
In taking note of the commendation for his administration’s war against corruption and insecurity by the traditional rulers, Buhari expressed frustration at the endless nature of some ongoing trials, citing some of the cases as going far back to the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.