2. by -Novo Isioro, Northern Elders of Thoughts-3

Against the backdrop
of those sounding drum bell of war using inflammatory words through agitation
of whatever kind, Acting president Yemi Osinbajo has handed down stern warning on
those that attempt to disrupt the peace in the country, saying ”we’ll deal with
those fomenting trouble decisively  in
any-part of the country, and that i won’t hesitate to allow the full scale of Nigeria’s
law to take it cause on them”!



Osinbajo spoke,
yesterday, shortly after he went into a closed-door meeting with foremost leaders
of thought from the north against the backdrop of the three-month-quit notice
handed to South-Easterners by Arewa youths to move out of their region, and
other secessionists, agitations across the country.
“As a government, we
are determined to ensure the unity of the country along the lines of our
constitution, and I want to say that hate and divisive speeches or divisive behaviors
will be met with the full force of the law. 
“And I want to ensure
that there is no doubt at all that it is the resolve of the government that
none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition
or violence, especially because when we make these kinds of pronouncement and
do things that can cause violence or destruction of lives and property, we are
no longer in control. Those who make those speeches are no longer in control.
“So, I want to
emphasise that government will take very seriously, any attempt to cause
violence or disrupt the peace of this country. And that is very important
because you cannot control violence once it begins.”
The Acting President
said some Nigerians might think that the statement by the youths should be
ignored, “but I think it should be addressed quickly, especially from leaders
of thoughts who have seen it all.
“Every form of
violence, every form of hate speech, any stone that is thrown in the market
place, will hit targets that are going to be deadly. So, I need us to be fully
conscious of that, and the Nigerian people must be made to be fully conscious
of that so that we do not create a crisis that is not intended.
“As part of living
together, I know that misunderstandings and frustrations will always arise and
people will always want to get the best part of the deal, but we must be
careful to recognise that we can only begin to talk about any part of anything
if we are together in peace. These days, wars do not end and I am sure that
those who have seen or experienced war in any shape or form will not wish it on
their worst enemies.
“This is not a time to
retreat behind ethnic lines. Moments like these are not for isolating
ourselves. I want to urge all of us here and the entire Nigerian populace to
come together and work together,” he declared.
Present at the meeting
which started at 5p.m. were Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House of
Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Chief of Defence
Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olanishakin, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris,
Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen.
Martins Luther Agwai and former IGP, Ibrahim Coomassie.
Also in attendance
were Prof. Ango Abdullahi, former governor, Sokoto State, Aliyu Wammako, former
deputy governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen, , Paul Unongo, AVM Murkar,
chairman, Liberty Radio/Television, Tijani Ramalan among others.
Osinbajo,
who expressed his gratitude to the elders for the impressive response despite
the fact that it was an emergency meeting, disclosed that similar meetings have
been scheduled with Igbo leaders today (Wednesday), that of leaders from the
South-West has been scheduled for Friday and that of traditional leaders from
north on Sunday.

He
explained that those invited have witnessed landmark milestones in the country
– some tragic and some joyous moments – and government was interested in
getting the way forward from their suggestions.

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