Says ‘return stolen funds willingly, live in peace’
By Abdullahi M. Gulloma
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned those agitating for the disintegration of the country to desist forthwith “because the unity of the country is not negotiable.”
Speaking when he received some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who paid him Sallah homage at the State House, in Abuja, the president also stressed the need for the Niger Delta Avengers and other similar groups in the region to stop bombing oil and gas installations.
“On security we have made a lot of improvement the Boko Haram insurgency has been degraded. We are now concentrating on the militants to know how many of them in terms of groupings, leadership and plead with them to try and give Nigeria a chance.
“I assure them that the saying by General Gowon that to keep Nigeria is a task that must be done. In those days we never thought of oil, all we are concerned with was one Nigeria. So please pass this message to the militants, that one Nigeria is not negotiable and they had better accept it. Nigerian constitution is clear as to what they should get and I assure them there will be justice,” he said.
He said after recording significant improvement in the war against Boko Haram insurgents, the federal government was trying to get the leaders of the militant groups in the Niger Delta to stop their hostilities, adding that government would ensure that the region gets justice as the Constitution of the country prescribes.
The president also spoke on the current anti-corruption fight in the country, saying those who were still in possession of public funds should return them in order for them to enjoy personal peace.
He said government would not rest until all monies stolen by government officials are totally recovered because the nation was in dire need of resources for development.
“Please tell those with plenty of money which does not belong to them to try and negotiate and return it in peace so that both they and us will be in peace, otherwise we will continue to look for it.
He said country is facing a myriad of socio-economic problems, and promised that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were working together to assist about 13 states to produce enough rice to feed the nation.
“I know that there are a lot of problems in the country, but it is fortunate; the Minister of Agriculture is not here, he is working very hard. The governor of the Central Bank is helping him to borrow money outside the budget so that he can assist states, especially those states, about 13 of them can produce rice.”
Dignitaries who were at the Sallah homage include Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd) and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
Others were the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, Deputy Chief Imam of National Mosque, Abuja, Dr. Kabir Adam and the Primate of the Church of Nigerian (Anglican Communion), Mr. Nicholas Okoh.