BreakingNews 27/6/17 - Agitations: My deals with northern, eastern leaders -Osinbajo

[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday encapsulated the deals he struck with eastern and northern leaders over the agitations for Biafra and the October 1 quit notice some Arewa youths gave the Igbo resident in the north.


The acting president had, between June 13 and 21, met with leaders of thought and traditional rulers from both regions as well as the Nigerian Governors Forum over the issue.


Osinbajo, in a statement yesterday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said the present administration was not deaf to grievances in parts of the country, assuring that the government would address them.


The acting president, however, urged that such grievances should be expressed with grace.


Akande noted that the meetings were convened to provide a platform for frank and open discussions between the concerned stakeholders and by extension the Nigerian public on issues relating to the unity, peace and security of country.


He listed the common ground established by the meetings as including condemning all the hateful and divisive rhetorics by the concerned groups of northern and southeastern youths.


He said the meetings affirmed the primacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the ultimate basis for the nation's unity guaranteeing freedom of residence and movement for all Nigerians anywhere in the country without fear of discrimination or prejudice.


He said the meetings also affirmed the need to draw a line between the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution and the degeneration of such expression into hateful rhetoric, prejudice and hatred, sayingd under no circumstances would the Federal Government condone or tolerate hate speech in any way or form.


He said the meetings affirmed the necessity of confronting all grievances and frustrations head-on, "however uncomfortable that might seem now; instead of ignoring issues and allowing them to fester."


Akande added that the meetings affirmed the need for all leaders and elders, regardless of political or ideological persuasion, to speak out more forcefully to counter divisive and hate speech and any form of war-mongering.


He said the acting president thanked all the leaders for their time and commitment to the unity, peace and progress of the nation.


Akande also quoted Osinbajo as assuring Nigerians of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration's determination and resolve to ensure their well-being and security at all times.


He said the Federal Government would continue to actively engage with Nigerians 'of all shades and opinions in its bid to move the country forward on a path of socio-economic development and ultimate greatness."


*Photo Caption - Nigeria Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

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