By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, briefed State House correspondents after the NEC virtual meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Mohammed said he informed the NEC of the results of the town hall meeting held on April 8 in Kaduna on the theme “Establishing a benchmark for enhanced security and national unity”.
He said he emphasized the essence and uniqueness of the open meeting to the board.
“What largely motivated the need for this public meeting, as I informed the council, is the fact that we have had various security issues in the country, ranging from the pastoralist / farmer crisis to the insurgency in going through banditry and ethno-religious crisis.
“It has recently become apparent that these challenges, which the government is working to overcome, have sparked calls for secession and separation.
“So we thought it was time to come together and try to get a national consensus on the need to remain an indivisible country.
“It helped the town hall meeting that took place on April 8. ”
Mohammed said that around 18 public meetings have taken place, but the Kaduna meeting was unique in that it was the first general public meeting.
He said the panelists came from academia, civil society and the private sector so that the government could be fully informed about the thinking of different layers of society on national security and unity.
“The Council’s resolution today is as follows: the NEC welcomes the report and strongly affirms unity; insisting that remaining as one country remains the best option.
“While noting the need to tackle the problem of unrest which is sometimes fueled by some individuals, the council noted that unrest like this is common in countries with huge and diverse populations like ours.
“We have been told that a country like India has around 156 active separatist groups; it is important not to leave to the minority the mainstream of opinion and the cow constitutional authority.
“The Council also called on states to hold consultations and dialogue on the issues and report on the next Council meeting so that a firm decision can be taken on the recommendation of the town hall meeting, many of which were already welcome, ”he said.
Mohammed said he was resolved that the state-by-state consultation would ensure that the people have a great interest in the unity of Nigeria and provide a broader view of the general population. (NOPE)
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