Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says the country’s destinies will do better if maintained as one, inseparable unit.
On Thursday at the National Cohesion Dialogue organised by the Africa Polling Institute, Osinbajo said separatist calls should be seen as acts of criminality and nothing more than it. He noted the current administration is doing a lot to link Nigerians together by building more transport networks and reducing the distance between Nigerians.
The Vice President and Professor of Law said: “All Nigerians have a constitutional right to live, work and enjoy their lives in peace and safety under the law. The classification of Nigerians as “indigenes” and “non-indigenes” is a form of apartheid and contradicts our declared aspirations towards equality and unity,”
“This is why when we launched our Social Investment Programmes, the eligible beneficiaries were selected based on their states of residence and none was discriminated against on any basis. This was in keeping with the idea that the only true path to national progress lies in broadening access to opportunity for all Nigerians without qualification.
“Our destinies have become so interlinked as to be inseparable. This is why this administration is investing heavily in transportation infrastructure – road, rail, sea and river ports – to reduce the distances between our people and link localities to markets and enable trade, travel and tourism.
“We must ensure that we see it for what it is – a criminal act which must be punished according to the law and not an ethnic conflict. Criminals must not be seen or treated as anything other than criminals and certainly not as representatives of any ethnic or religious group.
Osinbajo said Nigeria stands to lose a lot more as a divided unit than as a united country. He said the country’s size, often tagged an economic advantage would be no more should the country divide.
The calls by the Vice President is coming on the back of frank separatist calls by a section of South-Eastern Nigerians under the aegis of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), led by Nnamdi Kanu. A pro-Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo also led the move for a Yoruba Nation in Nigeria, for many months before an attack on his home and an eventual arrest in Benin Republic.
Kanu, who had left Nigeria since 2017 was arrested in June in Kenya and was extradited to Nigeria where he’s since been charged with treason and terrorism.
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