With a number of criticisms from many Nigerians as well as associations, against the six minute national broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, several other groups and individuals have praised the president for his speech.
Supporters of his address have commended President Buhari’s focus on fostering peace and unity in Nigeria, as the President had mentioned that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable.
In reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s six minute speech, the Senate, on Monday, said as an institution, it was pleased with the President’s address.
The Upper chamber of the National Assembly described the speech as apt, precise and highly cogent. Speaking on the President’s speech in a telephone conversation, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger, noted that President Buhari’s speech addressed all the inherent issues bordering on fundamentals and foundations of the nation that were thrown open to a national discourse while the President was on medical treatment in London.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi said: “Remember, he dismissed the so-called quit notice as well as telling the secession-agitators that the unity of the country is not negotable.
“As a statesman and diligent leader, he needs not to say much until he has made wide consultations and widely briefed on all contentious issues in great details.”
Nigerian entertainer and leader of the Our Mumu Don DO campaign, Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, also approved of the President’s speech, noting that he shared similar views with the President on the Nigerian project.
According to the 66-year-old entertainer, it is good for all Nigerians to believe in the unity of the country as long as the fundamental issues of the erosion of our values are addressed.
Charly Boy said, “A lot of my Southern brothers are asking why I should believe in Nigeria. My answer is why not if we can solve the fundamental problem bedevilling the nation which is the fact that our values have been eroded.
“The youths are learning from their elders who are the political leaders. So far, we have seen elders and leaders who are enmeshed in corruption, who have managed to corner government. These are not the kind of people to move the country forward.
Charly Boy added his hope for a more conducive environment for Nigerians as citizens are no longer willing to dwell in the country
“I want to see a better environment for all Nigerians. In fact, it’s painful that some of our children abroad no longer wish to return to Nigeria. Even, the ones in Nigeria want to leave the country. “If we push hard enough, Nigeria might just get better or something more positive than the present situation might happen, because we can’t continue to exist like this.
“I am an Igbo man. Even my people are ‘yabbing’ me and asking me why break a sweat over Nigeria, let’s face Biafra instead. But I say to them; I may be a dreamer, but I still believe in Nigeria. “It is the same fight ‘Our Mumu Don Do’ movement and what the pro-Biafra agitators are struggling for. It is almost the same fight.”
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A socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), also welcomed the President Buhari’s nationwide broadcast saying Nigeria’s unity is truly not negotiable.
The ACF, expressed their support for the President’s address, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Biu.
The Northern body commended the President’s broadcast, which it described as all encompassing, particularly on the unity and indivisibility of the country.
It read in part, “The ACF supports the position of government on the issues of restructuring and the channels of addressing genuine grievances through the appropriate democratic institutions such as the legislature and the judiciary.’’
Also, the Coalition of Northern Groups, which had earlier given a notice to quit to Igbos in the North, said it backs any directive that would ensure sanity in the country.
The coalition stated that the President’s speech re-emphasised what the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had said “at the last Council of State meeting that he chaired.”
It stated that, “We are in total support of any move by government to bring about sanity in the country and to finally bring an end to all divisive agitations and separatist tendencies.”
Also, a northern elder statesman and Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said the national address by Buhari should “naturally” end the clamour for secession in parts of the country.
Yakasai said, “I also believe that the unity of this country is not negotiable. At a constitutional conference before independence, a request was made that a clause empowering regions to secede should be included in our constitution. I recall that the conference unanimously rejected that clause.
“The decision made then is binding on us even after independence. There is no singular provision for secession. The president said the National Assembly and the Council of State are the only platforms for discussing issues of this country.”
Similarly, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Monday, appraised Buhari’s speech.
He described it as “outstanding,” adding that President Buhari was apt on issues affecting the country.
Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke at the national headquarters of the party, Abuja, said, “Mr. President is correct to say that the stability of this nation, the unity of this nation, the peace of this nation and the security of ordinary Nigerians are the key issues at this material time.”
He said the President’s speech was not tough on those clamouring for political restructuring.
He said, “The President did not insinuate in his speech that those clamouring for restructuring and the rest cannot discuss. You can discuss; the only issue that is out of bounds is the unity of this nation.”
Also, the deputy national chairman of the APC (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, on Monday, said the President’s speech, among other vital issues, was particularly channeled towards reassuring Nigerians of their safety in any part of the country.
He said, “One major point from the speech is the President’s determination to nip in the bud the purported notice to quit given by some misguided youths in the north, as well as their counterparts elsewhere who have been heating up the polity by fanning the embers of discord.”
However, other individuals and groups including Femi Fani-Kayode, MASSOB, PDP have expressly criticised the speech saying it did not take cognisance of the issues affecting Nigerians.