A Niger Delta group, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari over his comment that Nigeria’s unity “is settled and not negotiable.”
Buhari, while addressing Nigerians after he returned from his prolonged medical vacation in London, expressed strong views on Nigeria’s continued existence as one nation.
The President vowed to resist outrightly any secessionist struggle, adding that “grievances” by groups could only be handled the National Assembly and the Council of State, which he noted are the “appropriate and legitimate bodies for national discourse.”
Reacting to the President’s speech, the IYC, through its leader, Eric Omare, said Nigeria’s corporate existence as one nation of multicultural groups remains unsettled and negotiable.
He likened the president’s position on the national question to military approach and one that came short of addressing sub-structural issues that spark agitations.
“The solution in the opinion of the IYC is for President Muhammadu Buhari to take practical steps towards addressing the causes of persistent agitations in the country rather than shutting the door of engagement that would lead to the resolution of the agitations.
“Mr. President must do away with politicking and rise up to the national challenges as a statesman. We strongly hold the view that threats of brute force would not quell the agitations.
“It is only sincere and painstaking discussions that would solve the problems. This is because some of the agitations are genuine and need to be addressed”, Omare said.