Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has called on groups such as the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and others demanding an independent Yoruba Nation to halt their agitations.
He noted that under the constitution, the activities of those calling for the break up of Nigeria can be termed as illegal but the government should find a way to address their agitations through dialogue.
According to him, the only way the agitations can be given due consideration is through the amendment of the constitution by the National Assembly.
Naija News reports Ganduje spoke on Thursday while presenting a paper, ‘Sustaining a United and Indivisible Nigeria: A Myth or Reality” at the Second Quarterly Public Lecture series of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Press Corps, held at Sheraton Towers Hotel, Abuja.
He said: “Under the Nigerian Constitution, no part of Nigeria has the power to form its own independent government or secede from the country. In fact, the word ‘secede’ does not appear in the Constitution.
“The nearest answer to this is found in Article 2 of the constitution, which states that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name of the ‘Federal Republic of Nigeria’. This means the only way to legally grant such an option is through an amendment to the law. Agitators would be required to follow established guidelines while protecting the sovereignty of the nation-state.”
While he acknowledged that Nigeria as a country is facing many challenges, Ganduje urged that rather than seek to break away from the country, the agitators should engage the government as Nigeria can’t survive another civil war.
“Let me repeat here that Nigeria is a united and indivisible country. Our constitution has taken care of that. I don’t see secession as the way out of the current challenges afflicting the nation. Instead, advocates of secession should have a change of heart and I recommend dialogue as a crucial option for addressing their problems.
“Besides, there is a National Assembly where some of the grievances can be addressed. Because dialogue is a far better alternative that costs less than the consequences of the wedge that has been erected to frustrate more flow of conversations between the government and citizens to arrive at a national consensus.
“And the sooner we face issues such as the huge infrastructure deficit, our shrinking oil revenue, looming food insecurity as a consequence of insecurity in our agriculture zones, the better. Seriously, we need to focus on diversification of the economy, out-of-school children shame, rebuilding of our tertiary institutions to boost knowledge development for 21st-century challenges and other sustainable goals for this great country – instead of applying energies on self-determination agitation that will only diminish us as a people.
“In the main, those who manage public information for our great party should note all these points as we interact to reposition our party for future challenges because information is power to the people who should be well informed to be able to make remarkable decisions and choices. Yes, information is power to the people! ”