President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that Nigeria would be better and stronger together.
Speaking virtually from Aso Villa on Monday, March 29 as a guest of honour and chairman of the 12th colloquium to celebrate the 69th birthday of All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President Buhari said he fought for the unity of Nigeria as a military man during the 1967/1970 civil war.
Naija News understands that the colloquium held in Kano State was virtually attended by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; amongst other prominent leaders.
The leader’s physical appearance at the event themed, ‘Our Common Bond, Our Common Wealth: The Imperative Of National Cohesion For Growth And Prosperity, was disrupted by poor weather from the Abuja airport to the Kano airport, Naija News understands.
Delivering his speech from the comfort of his office in Aso Villa, Buhari said the theme of the occasion was suitable for the contemporary issue of secession and national unity in the country. His statement reads: “Despite occasional inter-ethnic tensions in our national history, it seems to me that we have all agreed on one point that notwithstanding our diversity or ethnicity, culture, language and religion, Nigerians are better together, even stronger together.
“Asiwaju (Tinubu) himself is a known advocate of unity and cohesion in Nigeria. This has been a constant factor in his outstanding political career from the time his served in the short-lived senate in the third republic to his involvement in the struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate of the late Chief MKO Abiola to his much-acclaimed years of service as the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.”
Reacting to the agitation and call for secession by renowned Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo also known as Sunday Igboho; as well as the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, also the head of Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, Prof Banji Akintoye, and other proponents of self-determination, President Buhari said Nigerians must see unity and peace as blessings of nationhood.
He added: “I can also relate personally to the ideals of One Nigeria. As a military officer, I have served with great comrades from all the nooks and crannies of our country.
“In the course of my career, I have also been opportuned to serve in all parts of Nigeria seeing firsthand the enticing possibilities of a strong, united nation.
“More importantly, I fought for the unity of Nigeria during the civil war – 1967 to 1970 and I saw firsthand the unspeakable horrors of war, not just from fellow soldiers from both sides but from the civilians, innocent children, women and the elderly left behind.
“As we all know the peace-keeping recovery and reconstruction that followed could also not have succeeded under an atmosphere of inter-ethnic animosity. We must count our blessings in Nigeria and see in them the crucial factors of peace and unity.”
Meanwhile, former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has declared that it is time for those who truly believe in the country to help the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Naija News reports that Atiku noted that it has become obvious that the current administration lacks the capacity to help the nation and the citizens but anyone who has the interest of Nigerians at heart must rise up and help in whichever way they can.