President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said he would not allow the dismemberment of Nigeria being pushed by “highly irresponsible groups”.
Buhari said this in a televised speech to mark the country’s 57th Independence anniversary.
He called for “proper” dialogue after clashes between pro-Biafra activists and security forces in the restive southeast.
He added that leaders in the communities should have told the agitators what the country went through during the civil war over Biafra.
“We can not and we will not allow such advocacy,” he said.
Buhari, who fought in the 1967-70 Biafran war, said in his Abuja speech that those seeking to carve up the country had no idea of the havoc they could potentially wreak.
He said: “As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.
“I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there, the consequences of such folly.
“At all events, proper dialogue and any desired constitutional changes should take place in a rational manner, at the National and State Assemblies. These are the proper and legal fora for National debate, not some lop-sided, un-democratic body with pre-determined set of objectives”.
“Government is keeping up the momentum of dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to keep the peace. We intend to address genuine grievances of the communities.
“Government is grateful to the responsible leadership of those communities and will pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta.”