Buhari to militants, others: ‘We won’t negotiate Nigeria’

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has told agitators, particularly members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) that the country’s unity is not negotiable.

Addressing a cross section of residents of the Federal Capital Territory who paid the traditional Sallah homage to him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday, the president also appealed to the militants to give peace a chance.

While noting improvement in the security situation in the Northeast of the country in the last one year, he said the attention now is on the Niger Delta region.

“On security we have made a lot of improvement, Boko Haram, militants there is improvement. We are now concentrating on the militants to know how many of them in terms of groupings, leadership and plead with them to try and give Nigeria a chance.

“I assure them that the saying by Gen. Gowon that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done. In those days we never thought of oil, all we were concerned about is one Nigeria. So please pass this to the militants, that one Nigeria is not negotiation and they had better accept.

“Nigerian constitution is clear as to what they should get and I assure them there will be justice.”

He also appealed to those with plenty of money that does not belong to them‎ to try and negotiate and return it in peace.

“So that both they and us will be in peace, otherwise we will continue to look for it.” the President added.

Stressing that there are several problems in the country, he said the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, is working very hard with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure that about 13 states start rice production.

He said the programme is a good initiative ‎with many farmers already returning to the field.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who noted that the period was a time for forgiveness of sin, said the past one year has been tough.

He insisted that the administration was busy clearing the mess it met on ground.

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