Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo continued his interaction with leaders of the various regional groups in the country on Wednesday with a meeting with Igbo leaders where he urged them not to engage in a-tit-for-tat amid hates speeches raging across the country.
Addressing the meeting with Governors from the South East and other leaders, Prof Osinbajo said the need for the gathering has become “very urgent and crucial’’ because of the current loud voices of hate speeches and divisive comments resonating across the country, stressing that the situation required urgent attention from all concerned.
He, therefore, urged them to always speak out against hate speeches and comments capable of polarizing the country along ethnic, sectional and religious lines as this was not the time to hide under any ethnic or religious platform to support comments that divide rather than unite us as a nation.
Prof. Osinbajo said, “violence pays no one.”
“Violence and war are not going to do anyone any good. Wars today hardly end. No one who has seen the face of wars even on television who wish it for anyone.
“We should not tolerate hate speeches or divisive comments.’’
He reiterated the Federal Government’s resolve to deal with any trouble maker who threaten the peaceful coexistence of Nigeria.
“There is no doubt on the resolve of government to allow anyone get away with hate speeches and divisive words.
“Our emotion should not be allowed to run wide so as to threaten the existence of anyone anywhere in Nigeria.
“We will do everything within our power to protect the lives of every citizen anywhere and in any part of the country.’’
He thanked the leaders for their prompt response to the consultative meeting.
Those who attended the meeting included the Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Gov. Willy Obiano of Anambra and Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo.
Others included Chief of staff to the president Abba Kyari, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, NSA, chief of defence staff, service chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and ministers.
Former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Senator Eyinaya Abaribe, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Catholic Awka Bishop Okoye, Igwebike Onah Catholic archbishop of Nssuka, Senator Joy Emordi, Prof. Viola Nwuleri also attended the meeting.
Wednesday’s meeting by the Acting President is a continuation of the national dialogue he began on Tuesday with leaders of thought from the North following calls for secession by youth from different ethnic groups in the country.