By Clifford Ndujihe Politics Editor
LEADERS of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the South-West geo-political zone, have opposed separatist agitations and hate speeches in the country and restated their belief in one Nigeria.
Currently, there are agitations for Yoruba/Oduduwa Republic, Republic of Biafra and Middle-Belt Republic.
The leaders urged those agitating for separate countries to desist while calling on the government to ensure devolution of powers to the federating units to address Nigeria’s instability.
They spoke after a four-hour meeting on the state of the nation held at the Lagos State House, Marina.
At the meeting were APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former APC Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; former Ogun State Governor, Chief Segun Osoba; House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Minister of Trade and Industry, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former APC South-West Vice Chairman, Pius Akinyelure; and elder statesman, General Alani Akinrinade, retd.
The leaders endorsed Southern governors’ Asaba resolution banning open grazing in the South and asked the government to make loans available to farmers for ranching in the states.
They decried the security situation in the country and urged the Federal Government to make more funds available to the security agencies to fight insecurity.
The nine point communique read:
“Concerned about the state of the nation particularly the serious security challenges facing the country, All Progressives Congress leaders in the South-west met in Lagos on Sunday May 24, 2021.
“The meeting was characterized by open and frank discussions of the difficulties now facing Nigeria.
“Based upon these deliberations, the following points of agreement were reached:
” The Leaders commiserate with and condole the President and Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, the military authorities, families of the Chief of Army Staff and other officers who died, and indeed the entire nation over last Friday’s tragic plane crash in Kaduna.
“They express their strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches. While urging those indulging in such to desist forthwith, they renew their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.
” We note with significant concern the security situation in the country. Terrorism and violent criminality threaten many areas, adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of too many innocent and peace-loving Nigerians. While mindful of the resource and other constraints facing the nation, we urge the federal government to continue to make the necessary expenditures and allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the difficult security challenges confronting us.
” For Nigeria to overcome these challenges, we must do so with unity of purpose and action. The desire for peace and the chance for a prosperous and just society is universal and transcends all regional, religious or ethnic divisions. Sadly, many public figures have made statements that spark division and undermine the needed unity of purpose. We urge government at all levels, security agencies, and public leaders across the country to do everything possible to prevent tension so that we sustain the necessary unity to defeat these challenges to our national security. All responsible Nigerians must speak and act in a manner that strengthens our common cause against these common threats to our collective peace, justice and development.
“We restate our abhorrence of violence as a means to achieve either political or economic power and influence. We strongly condemn violence of any form in any part of the country, regardless of ethnic or regional identity of the perpetrators of the violence or of the victims.