While speaking at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, as part of programmes lined up for his one-day visit to Ebonyi State, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, appealed to the people of South East region not to buy into the idea of Biafra being promoted by the members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
According to Daily Sun, the president assured the Igbos of fair share of his developmental projects next year, revealing that some key projects had already been designed for the region, especially in the area of road infrastructure, agriculture and social services, captured in the 2018 budget.
President Buhari asked Igbo to work for the country’s unity, saying the agitation for the realisation of Biafra was “a senseless propaganda” being promoted by “some misguided youths” in the region.
The president who disclosed further that dividing the country across ethnic lines was tantamount to betraying the efforts of Nigeria’s founding fathers, said; “I am asking you all not to buy into the senseless propaganda on secession. Igbo is Nigeria and Nigeria is Igbo, both are inseparable.
“We must, therefore, continue to commit ourselves to the development of Nigeria by sustaining our national unity without compromising our cultural identities, a Nigerian where the aspirations of its people is guaranteed without prejudice to tribe or religion, a Nigerian where we can sleep at night knowing that tomorrow will be better than today.
“The task of nation building is a continuous one. Our founding fathers from all corners of this country worked together to actualise the creation of one Nigeria. After independence, the same founding fathers worked together to maintain this one Nigeria.
“Yes, they had differences of opinion at times; after all, they were only human. And yes, they had moments of weaknesses and doubt, but again no one is perfect. However, one thing they all protected until the end of their lives was having one Nigeria for all Nigerians. Today, Nigeria is 57 years old. Nigeria has gone through many pains, but has also achieved significant successes.
“Its citizens are leaders in all aspects of human development, but we rarely celebrate these successes. Some misguided Nigerians will rather channel their energies to propagating negative stories and senseless rumours. Over 68 per cent of Nigeria’s population is under 25 years old. They have little knowledge of Nigeria’s journey. They were not born during the dark days of the civil war and nation building afterwards.
"The task of nation building is a continuous one; it relies on the successful transition of factual knowledge from one generation to another. This means it is our collective responsibility to ensure we do not betray our founding fathers as we transfer the Nigerian project from one generation to the next.
“As our national anthem says, the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. So, parents, speak to your children about the importance of their heritage, culture and being open-minded. Teachers, teach your students about the history of the nation and how it was a correlation of diversity that brought it to existence. And as leaders, we must lead by example, tolerance and acceptance of diversity.”