The presidency on Tuesday declared that it won’t shift ground on its position that the oneness and unity of Nigeria is not negotiable.
This is as it fired back at those leading calls for secession by various groups in the country noting that President Muhammadu Buhari is not someone that can be intimidated or bullied into giving in to their demands.
The federal government also accused those calling for a secession of fighting for their own personal gains and pockets only.
The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu reiterate the stand of the government on Tuesday while speaking in Abuja at an event organized by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Forum which held at the national secretariat of the party.
On calls for the convocation of a National Conference, the presidential media aide submitted that it was an aberration with an elected parliament in place.
In his words, “On the unity of this country and the calls for secession and the insinuation that the presidency is not talking, the presidency has been talking. And our position is clearly that this country is one, is united, and by the grace of God will continue to be united.
“Look, one thing with this President and the National Secretary of the party has said a bit of that, you cannot intimidate Buhari. You cannot bully him. A lot of these people who are calling for secession are the problem of this country and I am happy that reasonable opinion, reasonable voices are now rising. Is it not only yesterday we were reading Afenifere, the most credible faction of Afenifere saying they were not for secession?
“The Ohanaze Ndigbo has said this over and over again. So this thing about secession is, they had used it in the past. You create secession and break up Nigeria and then you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the vaults and he brings money to settle people. President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those States and from those regions.
“Now, the thing about the Southeast is part of the earlier conversation we just had now. Criminals are fighting to gain the upper hand but I tell you that no criminal or terrorist is bigger than this country. None of them is mightier than our armed forces. This structure has been there. They were certificated and praised for World War One, World War Two, they stabilize the entire West Africa region. Without Nigeria, would there be Liberia in its present form, would there be Sierra Leone in its present form, even Gambia? So just give it time and support and pray, we will win against these forces.
“The Governors in the southwest, we have all heard them, they have denounced all of these things. So it is a sham, Nigerians want to be one, they want to continue. Yes, there are problems and we are hoping that as people united and loving of one another, we will come together and solve our problems and that leads me to the next question, whether there should be National Conference?
“What National Conference do more than a parliament? Anyone who is a democrat at heart, in practice in their beliefs they should believe in the tripartite structure of government. Governments that are democratic, there must be a parliament, the executive arm of the government and the judiciary, each one being independent and cooperating with the other. We have an elected parliament, which mandate is to be the custodian of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people.
“Look, a lot of these people who are crying for this secession, are unelectable. If you think you are electable, go around for a parliamentary seat whether House of Representatives or Senate and come and table an Amendment to the Constitution. The process is ongoing as we speak now under the Deputy Senate President. They are calling for Memoranda, why can’t you present what you want? So the issue is that people who are not democrats want a parallel parliament to be set up and this Constitution does not recognize two parliaments in this country. We have one parliament that is sovereign, that is the custodian of the sovereignty of the Nigerian people. If your member representing you has failed to present this request that you want whether it is a change of the structure at the state, local government or national level pull him out four years after, don’t vote for him. Put another representative who will do what you want. This is how democracy works, periodic elections”, he stated.
He noted that no government has done for Nigeria what President Buhari has done since he took over power in 2015.
Garba added that the President is committed to doing more for the Nigerian people.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that he is anticipating political persecution from opponents once his tenure ends in 2023.
He however added that he is prepared for whatever may come his way and has started preparations for such scenarios already.
Wike who revealed that he has already moved out of the government house in Rivers even before the expiration of his tenure noted that those in power do not like those who speak the truth but he won’t because of fear bend to anyone’s wishes.
Source: Naija News