The Nigerian government says it is committed to giving justice to all citizens regardless of what part of the country they come from.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo made the commitment in his opening remarks at a meeting between the federal government and traditional rulers from the South East geo-political zone of Nigeria at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
The meeting was part of ongoing consultative engagements with leaders of South East and Northern Nigeria over the agitations by youths from the South East Zone for the sovereign state of Biafra and the ultimatum given to them by their counterparts in the North to leave north before October 1.
“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,” Osinbajo said.
He said government would be sensitive to the reasons why there are agitations by the youth across the various zones of Nigeria.
According to him, many of the agitations have to do with perceived marginalization while some argue that safety in the different zones have been compromised.
He, however, said it would be wrong for people to approach their grievances “by threatening to disobey the law or by threatening the integrity of our nation.”
“I want to say the only way to make things right is to do things right,” he stated.
Nigeria is indissoluble
Professor Osinbajo said Section Two of the Nigerian Constitution states clearly that “Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He said there was no doubt about the fact that the federal government was committed to ensuring that Nigeria remains united and that anyone who violates the law in the manner being seen “will be met with the full force of the law.”
“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,” the acting president said, adding that “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 the greatness of Nigeria lies in the unity of the different ethnic groups that make up the country, and expressed his belief that the royal fathers would ensure that the message was clear to all in their domains.
Osinbajo said the unique position that traditional rulers occupy makes it imperative for him to have a separate meeting with them so they could take the message back to their people.
Traditional rulers from the five states of the south east zone attended the meeting.
Among others who were in attendance were the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police and some members of the Federal executive.
The consultative engagements between the government and leaders of the north and the south east of Nigeria will continue on Monday with a meeting with traditional rulers from northern Nigeria.