The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, has declared that nobody or group in Nigeria can intimidate or bully President Muhammadu Buhari to accept the demands by secessionists.
Shehu said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after attending an event organised by the APC Professional Forum.
He also stated that the President will not pay those demanding dissolution of the country to end their agitations.
According to the Presidential aide, the calls for secession have always been used to force the previous governments into paying agitators to cease fire.
“The first one is about the unity of this country and the calls for secession, and they said the presidency is not talking; the presidency has been talking and our position is clear that this country is one and is united, and by the grace of God will continue to be united.
“One thing with this President, and the National Secretary (of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC) has said a bit of that; you can’t intimidate Buhari. You can’t bully him.
“A lot of these people who are calling for secessions; they are the problem of this country. And I am happy that reasonable opinions, reasonable voices are now rising. Is it not only yesterday that we are reading Afenifere – the most credible faction of Afenifere – saying ‘we’re not for secession’? The Ohanaeze Ndi’gbo have said this over and over again.
“So, this thing about secession; they had used it in the past. You create secession and break up Nigeria and then, you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the booth and he brings money to settle people. President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay. And now, it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those states and from those regions.”