Abuja — Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has declared the renewed agitation from the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (POB) and the Arewa Youth Consultative Forumn (AYCF) among others as unlawful.
While IPOB is demanding for the restoration of Biafra as a separate country, the AYCF recently issued a three months ultimatum to Igbos resident in northern part of the country to vacate the region.
The Acting President who spoke at the session of a meeting with traditional rulers from the South East led by Eze Dick Eberechi and some selected monarchs at the presidential villa Abuja, yesterday declared that the unity of the country will never be compromised for the interest of any selfish group.
"And the reason why it is so is because for Nigeria's unity enough blood has been spilled and many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost. Many have paid for the unity of this country with their lives and it will be wrong of us as men and women of goodwill in this generation to toy with those sacrifices that have been made."
He said all forms of agitation by any group were unlawful, wrong and a direct violation of Nigeria's constitution.
"Those agitations, the manner of those agitations, the method and objective are wrong, unlawful and the violation of the laws of Nigeria and 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," the acting President stressed.
According to him, Section Two of the 1999 Constitution clearly defines Nigeria as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state.
While assuring that the federal government was committed to ensuring that the country remains united, the Acting President warned that henceforth "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 law."
Prof Osinbajo also called on Nigerians to always jettison tendencies that only reinforce further division amongst the different nationalities
"Men of goodwill in our generation must not tolerate any tendency that drags us in the direction of yet another civil conflict.
However, he said there was a need to be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the various young men across the various zones of the country including what he called "perceived marginalisation."
"Many have to do with perceived marginalisation, some have argued safety in the different zones have been compromised. But I want to say the only way to make things right is to do things right. And it will be wrong of us to approach even our grievances by threatening to disobey the laws or by threatening the integrity of our nation.
He noted, "What the federal government is committed to do is by ensuring 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 by all persons regardless of where you are from in this country. That is the commitment of federal government which I am able to make to you today.
"I recall that President Muhammadu Buhari said that as a person who served in the Nigeria Army committed his life to the service of this country and that he did so not alone but with others from the north, south, west and east of Nigeria. And that he fought side by side from the Congo to some many related places where he has served the country, protecting each others lives and ensuring that all of them were save.
"That, in the Nigerian Army they were men and women from all parts of Nigeria and that is the reason according to him, why he is so committed in ensuring that Nigeria remains one united country
"Our greatness lies in our being together and I believe very strongly that as our royal fathers you will ensure the message is clear to all. That the greatness of any people lies in their ability to work together despite our differences, despite the types of offense that have been caused between each other, the greatness of any community lies in our unity. We trust that you our royal fathers will give us he right directional advise to ensure that our country remains together.
Present during the meeting in the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa included, Eze Godwin Chijeoke, Igwe Julius Nnaji, Igwe Raphael Eze, Lawrence Ogubuzo, HRM Samuel Agunwa, Igwe Apostle Kingsley Chime, Eze Cosmas Agwu, Eze Raphael Ikegwuruka, HRM Olivel Ohanwe.
Also in attendance during the closed door meeting were Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremamdu, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Mongunu (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwuka and Minister of Science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu among others.
The Acting President is scheduled to meet with northern traditional rulers today.