By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari says he is pleased to be back in the country among his “brothers and sisters” after his medical vacation in London.
The President made this known in a nationwide broadcast on Monday in Abuja.
He, however, frowned at some `ugly’ incidences that were reported in the social media during his absence from the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that in June there had been calls for secession by youths from different ethnic groups in the country, a situation which resulted in some Nigerians issuing quit notice from their part of the country to their fellow countrymen.
However, acting President Yemi Osinbajo met with traditional leaders and other stakeholders from the North and the South East and agreed that Nigeria’s unity should not be taken for granted.
Osinbajo warned that persons agitating for secession and the northern groups that issued the ubltimatum to Igbos risked jail terms as they violated Nigeria’s laws.
“Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media, have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.
“This is a step too far.
“In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura.
“Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria.
“We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.”
President Buhari reiterated the determination of his administration to continue to ensure that Nigeria remained one geo-political entity.
According to the President, Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable.
“We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
He further stressed that every Nigerian had the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in the country without let or hindrance.
“I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.
“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance.
“But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.’’
The President who left Abuja on May 7, for London to receive medical care arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja on Saturday amid mammoth crowd to welcome him back home.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, his Vice, who acted as president during his absence led the delegation that received him at the crowded airport.
Others at the airport to receive him are leadership of the National Assembly, service chiefs and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) as well as some governors and deputy governor of Kaduna State, Mr Barnabas Bala.
President Buhari’s return has been greeted with jubilations by thousands of citizens especially youths across the country who sang and danced to welcome the President after 103 days of medical vacation in London.