06 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has warned militants in the Niger Delta that they have no choice but accept that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
Buhari, who spoke while receiving a cross section of Nigerians mostly Muslims who came to his residence within the precincts of the presidential villa to pay him Sallah homage, insisted that Nigeria’s unity remained non- negotiable.
The president recalled the famous quote of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, noting that the task of keeping Nigeria as one indivisible entity was a task that must be done.
According to him, “We have to concentrate on the militants to try to know how many of them in terms of groupings, try to get in touch with their leadership, to try to persuade them to please give Nigeria a chance.
“I assure them that when we were very junior officers, we were told by our leaders, by the Head of State, which was Gen. Gowon, that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done…We never thought of oil. What we were after is one Nigeria. Please, pass the message to the militants that one Nigeria is not negotiable. And I pray they better accept it. The constitution is very clear. I assure them there would be justice.
The president therefore urged the militants to change their minds and support a peaceful effort to turn Nigeria around.
He also used the occasion to call on those who had stolen public funds to return them to the treasury, otherwise they would not know any peace.
He added, “And please persuade those who have plenty of money that does not belong to them to try and negotiate, return it in peace so that both them and us will be in peace. Otherwise we will continue to request.”