President Muhammadu Buhari has said the arrests of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho), have revealed that high profile personalities, including a serving member of the National Assembly were funding the agitations.
Buhari disclosed this in his nationwide Independence Day broadcast on Friday morning.
The president said while his government would continue to pursue dialogue-based solutions in dealing with legitimate grievances, it was determined to take decisive actions against such secessionists.
Citing Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he pointed out that the security and welfare of Nigerians continued to be the prime focus on which programmes and projects of his government revolved.
“We are ready to arrest and prosecute all persons inciting violence through words or action. Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering.
“That said, our hope is not to fight for peace. We can always settle our grievances peacefully without spilling any blood.
“I will, therefore, take this opportunity, on this special day that symbolises the unity and oneness of our great nation, to ask all Nigerians to embrace peace and dialogue, whatever your grievances.
“The seeds of violence are planted in people’s heads through words. Reckless utterances of a few have led to losses of many innocent lives and destruction of properties.
“Such unfiltered and unsubstantiated lies and hate speeches by a few evil persons must be stopped. Our media houses and commentators must move away from just reporting irresponsible remarks to investigating the truth behind all statements and presenting the facts to readers.
“We must all come out and speak against the lies being peddled. At this point, I would want to sincerely appreciate the large number of our traditional, religious and community leaders as well as other well-meaning Nigerians, who in their various fora, are openly spreading the message of peaceful coexistence and conflict settlement through dialogue in their respective communities.
“Nigeria is for all of us. Its unity is not negotiable. And its ultimate success can only be achieved if we all come together with a common goal of having peace and prosperity for our nation.
“We shall continue to work on dialogue-based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security.
“The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers, including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly.
“Fellow Nigerians, this is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youth to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property.
“As the so-called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left in the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.
“Government will continue, with greater level of peoples’ participation and, in collaboration with our international partners, to improve the security architecture, reduce enabling environment for criminality to thrive and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing,” he said.