ACTING President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Sunday told the South East Traditional Rulers that agitations for secession by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the ultimatum issued to Ndigbo by the 16 coalition of youths group to vacate the 19 Northern states before 1st October were wrong and a violation of Nigeria’s constitution.
The Acting President also stated that the government must be sensitive to know the reasons behind the agitations by different groups across the various zones of the country, but warned that it was wrong for people to approach their grievances by threatening to disobey the laws or by threatening the integrity of the country.
Prof. Osinbajo who stated this when he met with the South East Traditional Rulers at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that the country remained one, adding that enough blood had been spilled and hundreds of thousands of lives lost in a bid to ensure that the country remained one.
The ongoing consultative meetings initiated by the Acting President was in response to the count-down of quit notice given to the Igbos living in the 19 states of the north to vacate the region before 1st October as a result of the agitations by IPOB, Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB for a Biafra republic.
He said though those making the agitations had attributed their agitations to perceived marginalization, while some have argued that safety in the different zones has been compromised, the nation’s constitution has said that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state. Prof. Osinbajo who disclosed that he would be meeting with traditional rulers from the north said, “In planning these meetings I was conscious that we should have a separate set of meetings with our traditional rulers because of the peculiar and the unique positions that they hold especially in their relationship with those that live in their kingdoms.
“This was the reason why we chose to have two separate meetings one with the South East Traditional Rulers and tomorrow evening I will be having one also with traditional rulers from the north. “I want to emphasis that it is the unique position that traditional rulers occupy that is behind separate consultations and we want to take much advantage of it as much as possible. “Most of us are aware especially for those who have been following the consultations, we have worked very hard to ensure that the representations across the two zones that we are interested in consulting with initially are as wide as possible and we have tried to inculcate that even in our traditional rulers today.
“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.