Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Wednesday November 15 2017 - Page 2

2 WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017 news Buhari in Ebonyi, urges Igbo to reject secession propaganda Olalekan Adetayo and Clement Nnachi P RESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged the people of the South- East geopolitical zone not to buy into what he described as the senseless propaganda of secession. He said Nigeria and Igbo were inseparable. Buhari said this at the Abakaliki Township Stadium during his state visit to Ebonyi State. The President said his presence in the state was a demonstration of his strong belief in the unity of the country. Buhari said, “My presence here today is a demonstration of our strong belief in the unity of Nigeria. As the most populous country in Africa, with over 300 ethnic groups, our diversity is almost unique among nations. “The people of the South-East are known for their ingenuity, industrial and commercial talent. There is no part of Nigeria where you will not find Igbo entrepreneurs, both men and women, contributing to the development of their adopted communities. “So, I am asking you all not to buy into the senseless propaganda on secession. Igbo is Nigeria and Nigeria is Igbo. Both are inseparable. We must therefore continue to commit ourselves to the development of Nigeria; a Nigeria where we will sustain our national unity without compromising on our cultural identities; a Nigeria where the aspirations of its people are guaranteed without prejudice to tribe or religion and a Nigeria, where we can sleep at night knowing that tomorrow will be better than today.” Buhari described the task of nation building as a continuous one. He recalled that the nation’s founding fathers from all parts of the country worked together to actualise the creation of one Nigeria. After independence, according to the President, the same founding fathers worked together to maintain one Nigeria. “Yes, they had differences and varied opinions at times. After all, they were only human. And yes, they had moments of weaknesses and doubt. But again, no one is perfect. However, one thing they all protected until the end of their lives was having one Nigeria for all Nigerians. “Today, Nigeria is 57 years old. Nigeria has gone through many pains. But it has also achieved significant successes. Its citizens are leaders in all aspects of human development. But we rarely celebrate these successes more. “Some misguided Nigerians would rather channel their energies to propagating negative stories and senseless rumours. “Over 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population is under 25 years old. They have little knowledge of Nigeria’s journey. They were not born during the dark days of the civil war and the nation rebuilding that happened afterwards. “The task of nation-building is a continuous one. It relies on the successful transition of factual knowledge from one generation to another. This means it is our collective responsibility to ensure we do not betray our founding fathers as we transfer the Nigeria project from one generation to the next,” the President added. Buhari urged parents to speak to their children about the importance of their heritage, culture and being open-minded. He also asked teachers to teach their students about the history of the nation and how it was a coalition of diversity that brought it to existence. Buhari also urged leaders to lead by example and show tolerance and acceptance of diversity. The President said his administration was HAVE A STORY FOR US? CONTACT: Politics: 08033461633 politics@punchng.com; General News: 08165625046 Online: 08033430804 generalnews@punchng.com; Business: 07068835954 business@punchng.com working hard to address most of the grievances expressed by the people of the South-East and all Nigerians. He listed them to include unemployment and poor infrastructure. He added, “We are building roads, hospitals and schools. We are expanding our power transmission infrastructure while supporting the generation and distribution companies to ensure more power is delivered to our homes. We are developing agricultural programmes that will create more jobs while making Nigeria food secure. “For example, we recently mobilised the contractor of the Second Niger Bridge back to site. We have also made provisions in the 2018 budget proposal to ensure this project is completed as early as possible. “We are also upgrading the Federal Medical Centre in Umuahia by constructing a Modern Medical Diagnostic Centre. This will further bring quality and affordable health care to the geopolitical zone. “In the agricultural sector, the states in this region have participated in all Federal Government agricultural initiatives. For instance, Ebonyi was among the first few state governments to sign up to the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative. 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