Those calling for Separation from the country, according to Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, are the country’s Problem.
He said this on Tuesday in Abuja at an event hosted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Forum to highlight President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s accomplishments.
Shehu went on to say that Buhari would not be threatened by some people’s demands for independence, insisting that the nation would remain united no matter what.
“For those who say the president hasn’t been talking, our stance is clear: this nation is one and, by God’s grace, will remain so.
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“You can’t threaten Buhari, you can’t intimidate him; many of these people calling for Separation re the country’s problem; I am glad that fair voices are now rising,” he said.
Shehu praised Afenifere, Ohanaze Ndigbo, and other socio-cultural regional groups for speaking out against secession.
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“All of these things have been condemned by governors in the South-West, so it’s a sham; Nigerians want to be one and united,” he said.
He expressed confidence that, whatever difficulties the country faces, they will be overcome through unity and love.
Shehu dismissed calls for a national conference to solve the country’s problems, saying it would accomplish little more than a parliament, which is mandated to protect Nigerians’ sovereignty.
He went on to say that every true democrat should believe in the three-part system of government, noting that many of those calling for secession are un-electable, but that they should run for office if they disagreed.
Shehu commented on the recent spate of kidnappings and banditry in the region, saying that although it was not a good development, it had been going on for a long time, even before the country gained independence.
He attributed the creation to a few bad apples in our midst who leaked military secrets to bandits.
He remembered how a tea vendor near the airport would often expose military personnel’s movements to bandits if they moved their aircraft to strike.
“Bandit sponsors employed him, built him a home, bought him a Golf car, and gave him money to expand his tea business.
“Every time an aircraft took off from Katsina Airport to go and operate in Zamfara, he would call them and say they were on their way, but by the time they got there, the target had vanished,” he said.
Shehu said that all hands must be on deck to rid societies of such informants because the military, like us, had blood flowing through their veins.
“We’re all in this together, and we just have to work together to get these elements out of this country,” he said.
Shehu, speaking about the current unrest in the South-East, said that while criminals were battling for power, no criminal or terrorist was bigger than the nation.
“None of them are more powerful than our armed forces; this system has existed for a long time, they have been certified and praised, and they have helped to stabilise the entire West African region,” he said.
He emphasised the importance of the Nigerian military in maintaining peace and stability in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Gambia.
He went on to say that the military only required time, support, and prayers from Nigerians to fight terrorism and acts of banditry in the country.
He went on to say that Boko Haram was no longer fighting for the Islamic Caliphate, but rather for food and arms to replenish, as well as money, and that they had turned to armed robbers to target weak spots.
Shehu said that the military was preparing not only to stop Boko Haram from entering the cities, but also to stop them in the forest.
In the name of balancing stories, he urged the media to reconsider how they reported on acts of terrorism in the region.
He emphasised that a terrorist or a bandit cannot be equated with a legitimate government, and that terrorism and banditry thrive on publicity.
As a result, Shehu urged Nigerians to see the nation as half full rather than half empty. (Nanowerk News)
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