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Nigeria at 61: Buhari accuses unnamed lawmaker of sponsoring secessionists

…vows to deal with persons inciting violence by words, action

President Muhammmadu Buhari has accused an unnamed member of the National Assembly of sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho, both arrowheads of Independent People’s of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Nation groups considered as secessionist movements in the country.

The President, in his speech read today to commemorate the nation’s 61st Independence, also vowed to deal with persons inciting violence either by their words or actions in the country. Buhari, who blamed the rising cost of foodstuffs in the country on the activities of middlemen, also directed the rehabilitation of all food reserves in the country just as he regretted the infrastructural deficits pervading the nation. Regretting that the nation has faced her most difficult period in the last 18 months in terms of insecurity, the President said: “As a Government, we are ready to arrest and prosecute all persons incit-ing violence through words or action. Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering.”

While maintaining that his administration’s hope was not to fight, as he was prepared to always settle grievances peacefully without spilling any blood, he called on all citizens to seize the opportunity of unity provided by the nation’s independence day anniversary to embrace peace and dialogue, whatever their grievances.

“The seeds of violence are planted in people’s heads through words. Reckless utterances of a few have led to losses of many innocent lives and destruction of properties. Such unfiltered and unsubstantiated lies and hate speeches by a few evil persons must be stopped. Our media houses and commentators must move away from just reporting irresponsible remarks to investigating the truth behind all statements and presenting the facts to readers. While recognising the roles played by the traditional rulers, religious and unity leaders in ensuring peacefully coexistence in the country, Buhari said: “We shall continue to work on dialogue-based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security.

“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the national assembly “This is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youth to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property. “As the so-called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left on the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.

“Government will continue, with greater level of peoples’ participation and in collaboration with our international partners, to improve the security architecture, reduce enabling environment for criminality to thrive and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing,” he said. Stressing that his government was addressing the issue of shortage in the supply of petroleum products, Buhari hinted that the government was considering two mega refineries in Lagis and Akwa Ibom alongside other modular refineries in the country. In order to address the challenges of food security, he said: “I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities. “To further enhance food production, we have completed several new dams and are in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance ground water supply for rain-fed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.”




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