africa

Yahaya Bello counters secessionist agitators, says Nigeria will not divide


Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

By Stephen Adeleye

Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello has restated his faith and commitment to the unity of Nigeria, saying the country could never divide.

He also called for dialogue as a way to resolving all forms of agitations.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi Sate Governor, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, stated this in a statement on Sunday.

Muhammed said that Yahaya Bello made the submission in Umuahia, Abia when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia.

Bello said that he had always maintained the position that Nigeria could never divide irrespective of ploys by some people to stir problems using religious and ethnic divides.

He, however, noted that dialogue should be the only way to resolving whatever agitations by any group.

“We can have differences, skirmishes here and there which by the grace of God, we shall overcome them and Nigeria will remain together,” Bello said.

He also commended Ikpeazu for the warm reception offered him and his entourage, saying, the Abia governor had been a very good friend.

Bello said that Ikpeazu was the first governor that called directly to congratulate him when he was first sworn-in as governor of Kogi State in January 2016.

He said that even though, he was not of the same party, region and faith with Governor Ikpeazu; that they had continued to enjoy mutual friendship and cordiality over the years, saying, that should be the right spirit all Nigerians must imbibe.

“We in Kogi look at everyone as a Nigerian first before we talk about where you come from or even your religion.

“Though tongues may differ, but we are one. In Kogi, we don’t emphasise on what divides us but we emphasis more on what unites us.

“I want each and every one of us to continue to preach peace, unity and togetherness.

“Yes, some sections of this country may be agitated due to one thing or the other but it is only on roundtable such agitations can be best resolved.

“I call on all my brothers that feel aggrieved about the state of this country to sit on the table and pass through the proper channels to resolve them,” Bello said.

Bello also told Ikpeazu that his administration had done a lot in tackling insecurity bedeviling the state which, according to him, had made Kogi one of the safest states in the country today.

He commended the contributions of Igbo community living in Kogi State to the economic and political developments of the state.

In his response, Ikpeazu described Bello as a very good friend and strong ally who had always called him to offer words of encouragement.

He commended the governor for his leadership style and the strategies he had put in place to tackle insecurity in Kogi State to make it an economic hub.

“You have challenged some of us with your leadership style and you have been very courageous in expressing your views whether it is bitter or sweet.

“Most importantly, I want to thank you for galvanising the people of Nigeria for a united nation. God has brought us together as a nation an we are stronger together as a nation.

“Even though, there could be misunderstanding, what was needed is patience and tolerance, Ikpeazu said.

Highlights of the visit was presentations of gift items by Governor Ikpeazu to his visiting colleague, Governor Yahaya Bello.



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