Following the mounting agitation for secession in the Southern part of Nigeria, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has advised separarist groups to channel their demands to the appropriate quarters.
Ganduje advised government to create a platform where the separatist groups could be engaged for dialogue with a view to find a lasting solution, saying that Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.
Ganduje spoke in his keynote address at the stakeholders 2nd Quarterly Lecture Series of the All Peogressives Congress (APC) Press Corps on Thursday in Abuja.
Other APC leaders, who spoke at the occasion, were unanimous in their reasoning that the country remain indivisible while they called on all leaders across party and religious divide to be committed to the unity of Nigeria.
They acknowledged challenges confronting the nation saying: “Nigeria is currently faced with many challenges ranging from ethnic division, religious intolerance, calls for secession and many other issues which have continued to threaten the corporate existence of the nation.”
But, former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo west Senatorial district, Rochas Okorocha, said for Nigeria to achieve peaceful, united and sustainable nationhood, leaders at all levels must avoid all form of sentiments.
He advocated for a level playing field for all citizens, noting that injustice was causing division amongst the Nigerian people.
He said: “What we must do as a people is to address the issue of injustice as a nation, starting from the stomach injustice which we call hunger. For instance I don’t have any enemy from the North or South West. The biggest political problem I have recently is from the South East, from my State. The injustice of stomach and other injustices must be addressed.
“Every leader that emerges in this country must treat Nigeria as a family, must never show segregation of any kind. If you know an Igbo man, an Igbo man is not asking for anything, he is asking for a level playing ground. Do you know if today people are doing what Ganduje did in Kano, giving Igbo people appointments, if every other Governor does that, it shows a sign of love beyond area of tribe and religion.
“The two most respected books in human life, the best book ever written, is the Koran and Bible. There is a strong myth in those books that captures people’s mental attention.
“We need to create a myth that can make us feel together as one indivisible people for as long as this myth is not created and our political parties divide us then we still have a big problem at hand.”
Those present at the event were the National Chairman, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state, represented by former Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani; Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Senate Committee Chairman on Appropriation; Jibrin Barau, Director General, Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu; as well as the Chairman, FCT Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ, Comrade Emma Ogbeche among others.
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