BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY
GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, yesterday, reacted to the protest that trailed the removal of subsidy from petroleum product in Edo state and other parts of the country, saying that it was the right of the people to protest any government policy but however warned that it must be peaceful.
Oshiomhole who acknowledged that the nation is facing serious challenges which according to him will strengthen the nation’s democracy at the end of the day, frowned that the rumour that Hausa’s have been threatened to leave the state, just as he warned that Nigerians must avoid any action and speeches that tends to send wrong signals that the people is at war with each other.
The Governor stated this in Benin City when he received leaders of the Hausa community in the state and at the Arm Forces Remembrance Day Celebration.
Reacting to the protest across the country, he said: “I am not against protest, people have the right to protest, but it must be peaceful. They must not take laws into their hands by attacking or destroying any body’s property. I said once you do that no problem. But problem arises when you decide to born some body’s house or attack some body. Then that time it is no longer a protest.
“ I am happy they had the protest in Benin , I came to receive the protesters but my plane was delayed. Nigeria is a big society; part of the manifestation of that freedom is that people have the right to cry out.
But once you have spoken you now allow the authorities to reflect and take decision. Once we do that on Monday, Nigeria will not come to an end. There will be no violence” he said.
Reacting on the rumours of drums of war around some states in the country, Oshiomhole asserted that “ Hausa’s, Igbos, Yoruba’s are one, there is no discrimination in Edo.This country is our own, this is the only country no body can ask me of Visa. Nigeria is one country and we must defend its unity. Those who think that they can hide under religion, ethnicity and any primordial sentiment to play up divide, they must be defeated.
“Because the only thing that has kept Nigeria in the committee of nations is the fact of our size and our diversity, that diversity is the greatest source of our strength. If America is respected, it is because they have the best brains around the world. No body should be intimidated in any part of the country because we are all Nigerians. The source of our strength is the source of our diversity. I remain committed to Nigeria . And we must all make sure we cooperate and over come our problems” he said.