The acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday, promised that the Federal Government would apply justice in addressing the growing agitations from all parts of the country, especially from the South-East and North.
Osinbajo made the promise while addressing traditional rulers from the South-East – in continuation of his consultations on the recent ethnic agitations that saw some groups from the North asking Igbo people to leave their region on or before October 1 and the agitation by some Igbo groups for secession.
He delivered his opening remarks before the meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, went into a closed door session.
Osinbajo, who said he would also be meeting traditional rulers from the North on Monday, said the Federal Government was committed to listening to all stakeholders in its quest to ensure justice.
In ensuring justice, Osinbajo said it was important for the government to be sensitive to the reasons behind the agitations.
He listed some of the reasons to include perceived marginalisation and insecurity in some of the zones.
He, however, said it was wrong to present one’s grievances by threatening to disobey the laws of the land.
Osinbajo said, “We must be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of this country.
“Many (of the reasons) have to do with perceived marginalisation. Some have argued that safety in the different zones has been compromised.
“What the Federal Government is committed to do is to ensure that we listen to all the reasons, the various suggestions and the various agitations and the reasons for those agitations and to ensure that we do justice to all persons, regardless of where you are from in this country.”
Osinbajo reiterated his position that both the agitation for secession from Nigeria and the ultimatum issued by some northern youths were unlawful as they negated the provisions of the nation’s constitution.
He said enough blood had been shed for the nation’s unity hence people of goodwill must not tolerate any tendency seeking to drag the country in the direction of another civil war.
Osinbajo said, “Those agitations, the manner of those agitations, the method and objective are wrong, unlawful and a violation of 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.
“Let us not be in any doubt about the fact that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that our country remains united and that anyone who violates the law in the manner such as we are seeing all over the place will be met with the full force of the law.”
Those who attended the meeting included the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Da-Allah; Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonoshakin; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babangana Mungonu (retd.); Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; some ministers and presidential aides, among others.