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Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable, says Senate

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Members of the Nigerian Senate at a plenary

The Senate has resolved to take steps to curtail all threats to the continued existence of Nigeria as a united and peaceful country. The resolution came at a time of numerous agitations in the country.

On Thursday, in Kaduna, the northern youth groups that gave an ultimatum to Igbos to leave their region by October 1, this year reaffirmed their Wednesday stand, asking the Federal Government to hold a referendum for the actualisation of Biafra Republic.

At a special mid-term session that attracted former presiding officers of the Senate and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, senators noted that it has become very important to take decisive actions to halt factors against Nigeria’s unity.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who presided over the session that lasted two hours, said the Senate must stand for a non-negotiable and united Nigeria. Saraki noted that unity and peace were key issues that must be guaranteed for any meaningful development to take place.

“We must stand clearly and act clearly to defend this country. The unity of this country is not negotiable” Saraki said. Many lawmakers who spoke also stressed the urgent need to pay attention to songs of disunity currently emerging in many parts of the country.

Former senate minority leader, George Akume (APC, Benue North West), particularly charged the Senate to stand firmly against the “drums and songs of war” being heard in parts of the country and make a strong statement against persons or groups beating drums of ethnic and religious hatred among the citizenry.

In his own remark, Shehu Sani, (APC, Kaduna Central) asked the senate to address the question of injustice, which he said was the singular issue capable of tearing the country apart.

Sani noted that the country was facing threats of secession because of issues relating to injustice and unfairness, adding that most of the problems bedevilling the country had their roots from injustice.

Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, noted that the stability of the senate arose from the support and cooperation given by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators, who he said were not there to undertake destructive criticisms.

Akpabio said the minority caucus was fully aware that the failure of the APC-led government could affect the entire country, irrespective of party affiliation.

George Sekibo (PDP,Rivers East) believed the senate was being distracted from carrying out its responsibilities, saying cases of harassment of lawmakers by security agencies in the name of fighting corruption would not augur well for smooth legislative atmosphere.

Pointing to Oyegun, Sekibo declared that the APC must call the agencies to order, so that things could work well. But Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) condemned what he called selective application of laws by the executive arm of government.

Citing Ibrahim Maguís continued stay in office as acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Melaye noted that the Presidency had shown serious disrespect for the National Assembly by keeping him in that position.



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