President Goodluck Jonathan declared, Thursday, that he will not be cowed into submission by people he referred to as militants, noting that those who were promoting the balkanisation of the country along ethnic lines only want to be leaders in their proposed territories, which he described as ‘tiny islands.’
The President, who spoke in Abuja at a national summit and rally entitled Labour for Peace, Unity and Development, organised by the national leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said Nigeria must be jealously protected to remain one and indivisible.
He added that anything to the contrary would be a major threat to, not only the unity of people, but the African continent.
President Jonathan admitted that Nigeria was passing through turbulent period in its history, but expressed optimism that the development would not translate into disintegration.
President Jonathan said: “For you to move a modern society, there must be peace. Even in those days, for a king to move a kingdom forward, there must be peace. I listened to the guest lecturer, who talked about balkanising and cannibalising Nigeria and I think those who are thinking that way want to be kings in tiny Islands.
“Those saying they want their own nation, which is Igbo nation, Yoruba nation and the rest are people who want to be kings in a tiny island, and they will not get it because Nigeria will not divide. I am committed to moving Nigeria forward and will not submit to any antics.”
Insisting that Nigeria must remain one indivisible entity in spite of the multi-dimensional problems it was going through, the president said it was only when every citizen commits himself to the Nigerian project by giving peace a chance that development can take place.
He decried the latest attacks on telecommunication masts in some parts of the country, saying “no matter what we think has been eroded, in contemporary society, there must be peace for development. For a nation to develop, the first thing you talk about is communication power.
“Now, in the Northern parts, communication power has been threatened because of insecurity; there is no way that will not impact on the economy. For us to move with the modern society there must be peace.”
We need peace if we must develop this country.
“No matter what we feel might be our modest achievements, without peace, development would not be possible. We must put in place strategies to win this economic war: by paying special attention to home-grown strategies of confronting our challenges. This gathering should provide a refreshed thinking to Nigeria unity.”