- Promote Nigeria’s Unity
- Promises to carry every Nigerian along this second term
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday in Abuja said he was not only fully committed to the unity of Nigeria, but would also devote all his time and energy to promoting it for the benefit of Nigerians.
The president made the pledge while receiving a delegation of Benue State Council of Traditional Rulers led by the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse in the State House.
Buhari also yesterday in Abuja pledged to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically elected leader.”
A statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said the president called for better appreciation of the historical relationships among various communities with a view to sustaining the nation’s unity.
According to the statement, the president observed that the ties between the Tiv and his own ethnic Fulani stock predated him and the current generation, saying they helped in ensuring peaceful and harmonious co-existence among the people.
It also said Buhari expressed optimism that such cordial bonds would continue to endure among various groups and also serve as a strong unifying force in the country.
“President Buhari decried the misunderstanding of internal conflicts by many people at home and abroad, citing the farmer-herders clashes which in several places had been misconstrued as religious, when in fact they arose from social and cultural factors.
“He restated his appeal for better understanding of the nation’s diverse cultures in order to engender a healthier co-existence among the people, while fortifying and strengthening the unity of the country.
“Responding to the narration of the Tor Tiv on the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the recent conflicts in the State, the President said he was aware of that, and all that obtains in the Northeast, the Northwest and the South-South,” the statement said.
It also said Buhari noted that it was in realisation of the foregoing and the urgent need to ameliorate the plight of the IDPs that he created the new Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, “so that we have a ministry that coordinates their demands, and we avoid duplication of resources.”
Shehu added that Buhari expressed delight with the leadership of the Tor Tiv and other traditional rulers in their various communities as well as for their strong support for his administration.
He also said the president promised to look into the “long list” of the delegation’s demands, and thanked the royal fathers for showing appreciation for what his administration has done in the state in terms of projects’ execution and appointments.
Shehu said earlier, the Tor Tiv had described the recent triumph of the president at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as “God-given victory and mandate to reconstruct, rebuild and unify the country and take it to the Next Level of socio-economic development.”
He further quoted him as saying, “We are here to pledge our support and encouragement to your administration and its laudable programmes.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari also yesterday in Abuja pledged to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically elected leader.” The president made the pledge in the State House while receiving some former ministers who served in his administration as a military head of state between January 1984 and August 1985.
A statement by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president recalled “how we got things done then,” because it was a military administration, and thanked the ex-ministers “for being consistently in touch,” lauding the military for building Abuja as the new federal capital for the country.
He said a minute silence was observed in memory of those who had passed on among the former ministers.
According to Adesina, the leader of the delegation, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who served as the Minister of External Affairs, said the team was in the State House to congratulate the president on his achievements in security, foreign affairs, anti-corruption, education, and many others.
“We were appointed 35 years and nine months ago. Eighteen of us were sworn in. Your leadership was firm, but you also gave us free hand to operate. You knew what each person was doing. We will never forget the opportunity you gave us. We remain patriots,” Adesina quoted Gambari.
Adesina also said Gambari commended the president on the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council, advising him to also constitute security and foreign affairs’ advisory councils.
He listed other former Ministers in the team as Major General Muhammed Magoro, who was then the Minister of Internal Affairs; Dr. Emmanuel Nsan (Health), Alhaji Ibrahim Yakima Abdullah (Education) and Brig-Gen Ahmed Abdullahi (Communications).