President Muhammadu Buhari has told militants in the Niger Delta that they have no choice but accept that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.
He therefore urged them to change their minds and support a peacful effort to turn Nigeria around.
Buhari, who spoke on Wednesday 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.
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.
The president who recalled the famous quote of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, said that the task of keeping Nigeria as one indivisible entity was a task that must be done.
He said: “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.
“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”.