23 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those agitating for the Republic of Biafra as well as Niger Delta militants who are destroying oil installations in the region to consider the consequences of their actions.
Speaking at the State House in Abuja at the breaking of fast dinner for members of the Federal Executive Council, Buhari urged the agitators and the militants to reflect “very seriously” on the Civil War of 1967-1970 “where about two million Nigerians lost their lives.”
He said, “At that time, as young military officers, you hardly heard of anything about petroleum or whatever money you got from it. Look at what Gen. Gowon said ‘To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done’ and every soldier whether he has been to school or not knew what the general meant.
“But we were quarrelling with our brothers, we were not fighting an enemy and then somebody is saying that once again, he wants Biafra. I think this is because he was not born when there was Biafra. We have to reflect on the historical antecedents to appreciate what is before us now and what we intend to leave for our children and our grand children.”
President Buhari also said that “Leading the people is not a joke. It means accepting responsibilities for good or wrong,” adding that Nigeria needed a lot of prayers in view of the current economic and security challenge.
“We need a lot of prayers. Certainly, with the nation’s economy going down. We haven’t developed the agriculture, we’re still trying to talk on those who’ll come and develop the solid mineral for us,” he said.
The president said the Ramadan period provides the leaders with an opportunity to be more conscious of their responsibilities to the citizens.
“It strengthens our resolve to build our country to make it stronger and to make sure that the incoming generations are sufficiently motivated to be patriotic. It’s no news that we are the biggest country in Africa, we’re the economy engine of Africa, which are true by the way. But, we must always be patriotic in our dealings with others.
“This month of prayers and service to God, let’s keep on these prayers all the times, believing that God in His infinite mercy will listen to our prayers, give us peace, security and better the economy once more so that we can quickly rebuild and even do more for the country.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke on behalf of the cabinet members, thanked Buhari for inviting them for the breaking of fast dinner.