Wednesday, 21 June 2017

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Express grievances without scorn, disdain – Osinbajo tells agitators

  • Says Nigeria’s diversity can’t be taken for granted 
  • Meets Northern royal fathers 
ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo has admonished people with grievances to express them graciously without acorn or disdain as he reiterated that government is not deaf to such agitations.

But he has also restated his warning that government would deploy every means at its disposal to ensure that nobody threatens the territorial integrity of the country or the lives and property of the people.
Speaking while opening the consultative meeting with Northern traditional rulers at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, he advised the royal fathers to counsel “misguided youths” who believe they could say anything without any consequences.
He said: “As Royal Fathers and Leaders, I think you will agree with me that we all have a role to play in countering the voices of divisiveness, and the elements who seek to take us down a bloody path.
“Let us continue to counsel the misguided elements among our youth, who think that ethnic confrontation is a game and that words can be thrown around carelessly without repercussion.
“Having said this, let me say that we are not deaf to the legitimate concerns and frustrations arising from around the country. Every part of Nigeria has its own grievances.
“But these have to be expressed graciously and managed with mutuality rather than with scorn and disdain.”
Continuing, he stated: “As Royal Fathers and Traditional Leaders, your place and your role in our society and nation is significant. You are the custodians of our cultures and traditions, and living embodiments of our rich heritage.
“You are, by virtue of your vast knowledge, wisdom and experience, both a vital link with our past, and an important guarantee for the success of our future. This is why your role in national affairs is critical.
“The reason for these series of meetings is well known to all of us: it became necessary in the wake of a spate of divisive statements, in recent months and weeks, pitting the Southeast against the North.
“We are all aware of the so-called ‘ultimatum’ issued by a group of Northern youths, asking that all Igbos living in the North vacate the region.

“Before then, there was the clamour – and it’s still ongoing – by some south-eastern youths, operating as IPOB and affiliated groups, demanding secession from Nigeria at all costs and by any means.”
According to him, in the previous meetings with other stakeholders, it was agreed that the best thing for the country is for it to remain together.
Osinbajo added: “In all our previous engagements with Northern and South-Eastern leaders, we all came to the consensus that Nigeria is stronger and better together, and that these hate-filled and divisive rhetoric and agitations are unjustifiable, unacceptable and often times illegal. And I would like to reiterate that today.
“Nigeria has seen enough violence and bloodshed in its history, the price of our unity has already been paid in the blood and lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians.”
The acting President assured the royal fathers that government is available to listen to suggestions and answer any question “and very importantly, to reassure everyone that we are committed to the unity of Nigeria, and that upon the foundation of that unity we can together build a prosperous and great country.”
He said no one should take the nation’s diversity for granted as it is an instrument for binding the country together.
He further observed: “We must never take our diversity for granted; the fullness of our strength actually lies in that diversity. And we must wield that diversity, not as divisive tool, but instead as a binding agent.
 “As we round up these consultations tomorrow with a meeting with governors, it is clear to me that we are all resolved to by words, conduct and action, promote the unity of our dear nation.
“On our part as government, let me say that we will ensure that the entire apparatus of government is deployed to ensure that no one threatens Nigeria’s territorial integrity, that no one threatens the lives or livelihoods of any Nigerian living anywhere in the Federation.
“Our objective is to provide the environment for a prosperous nation, a nation where all regardless of ethnicity or religion can pursue their legitimate aspirations peacefully and securely.”
Among the traditional rulers present at the meeting were the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III who was the leader of the delegation; Emir of Kano, Alhaji Mohammed Sanusi; representative of the Emir of Katsina, Professor Sani Lugga who is Waziri Katsina; HRH Alhaji Dr Yahaya Abubakar, Etsu Nupe Niger State; Alhaji Ibrahim Sule Gambari, Emir of Ilorin; HRH Alhaji Mustapha Agwai 11, Emir of Lafia,Nasarawa State; HRH Alhaji Kyari Umar El-Kanemi, Shehu of Bama representing Shehu of Borno; HRH Jacob Buba Jang, Gbong Gwon Jos and HRH Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar, Emir of Gombe.
Others are HRH Ndakwo Ameh Oboni II, Attah Igala, Kogi State(
HRH Alhaji Muhammadu Ibn Abali, Emir of Fika, Yobe State;
HRM Alhaji Attahiru Ahmed Muhammed, Emir of Zamfara;
HRH Professor James Ayatse? Tor Tiv, Benue State, HRH Alhaji Adamu Buba Baba Yinusa,Emir of Abaji, FCT; HRH Alhaji Muhammed Isah Muhammed, Emir of Jama’a in Kaduna State(
HRH Justice Lawal Hassan, Emir of Gumi and HRH Dr. Emmanuel Kyauta Yekwi, Sakaruyi of Karu, FCT.


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