Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari told him that Nigerians should go about their lawful businesses and that ”the country’s unity is not negotiable”.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of his briefing of the president on the outcome of his discussion with the Amalgamated Union of Food and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, the governor said Buhari told him he was ready to keep Nigeria nation united by all means.
He said: ”Mr President expressed concern over the insecurity in the land.
”As the commander in chief, he has assured every one of us based on his security meeting yesterday, that Nigeria is going to be secured, safe and prosperous, and I believe in him 100 per cent.
“He urged every one of us to continue to go about our lawful businesses in the country, that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, that Nigeria must be united, peaceful and that Nigeria must be prosperous.”
The governor revealed that the president had pledged to look into the concerns raised by the union with a view to addressing them. According to him, the union is demanding that the various extortions that take place on the roads, by touts in most cases, be stopped.
He said: ”I thank God, Mr President, has given a directive to that effect, that all law enforcement agencies should ensure that traders should not be extorted on the road again.
”So, they are asking that extortions be stopped and also that those who killed their members be brought to justice. I don’t think they’re asking for too much.
“Remember that the crisis was snowballing into a major national catastrophe whereby some other parts of this country were gearing up for reprisal attacks in this country and setting us up for a crisis.
”Meanwhile, those who set up the crisis, that is what they want to achieve.
“We can’t afford to allow this country to snowball into civil war again, not this time around.
”We are so much interwoven that we are inseparable, again, by marriage, by business investments, by politics and every other form of development.
”Nigeria is so much interwoven that we shouldn’t allow any few bad elements, however, lowly placed or however highly placed, come and divide us again, it is not possible.”