APC south-west leaders oppose secession, support move to ban open grazing
Seperatist agitations and hate speeches aimed at dividing the country have been condemned by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the south-west.
This was contained in a communique issued by the APC leaders after their meeting in Lagos on Sunday.
Among those present at the meeting were Bola Tinubu, APC national leader; Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, and Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the party.
Dapo Abiodun, Gboyega Oyetola, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governors of Ogun, Osun and Lagos states, respectively; Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun; Niyi Adebayo, minister of trade and industry, among others, also attended the meeting.
In a nine-point communiqué released at the end of the meeting, the party leaders in the region “expressed their strong opposition to separatist agitations and hate speeches”.
They urged those indulging in such to desist forthwith, and renewed their belief in the unity, stability and sustainability of the country.
“We note with significant concern the security situation in the country. Terrorism and violent criminality threaten many areas, adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of too many innocent and peace-loving Nigerians,” the communique reads.
“While mindful of the resource and other constraints facing the nation, we urge the federal government to continue to make the necessary expenditure and allocate sufficient resources to enable the military and security agencies to tackle the difficult security challenges confronting us.
“For Nigeria to overcome these challenges, we must do so with unity of purpose and action. The desire for peace and the chance for a prosperous and just society is universal and transcends all regional, religious or ethnic divisions. Sadly, many public figures have made statements that spark division and undermine the needed unity of purpose.
“We urge governments at all levels, security agencies, and public leaders across the country to do everything possible to prevent tension so that we sustain the necessary unity to defeat these challenges to our national security. All responsible Nigerians must speak and act in a manner that strengthens our common cause against these common threats to our collective peace, justice and development.
“We restate our abhorrence of violence as a means to achieve either political or economic power and influence. We strongly condemn violence of any form in any part of the country, regardless of ethnic or regional identity of the perpetrators of the violence or of the victims. Government must do all it can to protect potential victims and to assist those who have previously been victimised by terrorism or widespread banditry.”
The party leaders also endorsed the resolution made by southern governors to ban open grazing.
They said such a decision will reduce tension between farmers and herders.
“We endorse the position of the southern governors taken at their May 11, 2021 summit in Asaba, Delta State, regarding ranching. We do so because such a decision will lessen tensions between farmers and herders, while also helping the long-term economic viability of both the farming and herding communities,” they said.
“We are mindful of the short-term dislocation this might cause, but are also mindful that this position is in the best interest of all parties concerned.
“We, therefore, recommend that the federal and state governments cooperate fully with each other to enact the necessary measures to encourage this more effective and modern method of cattle-rearing, so that both farmers and herders can pursue their livelihoods with greater productivity and in a more cooperative relationship that minimises the friction between these two important pillars of our agricultural economy.”
The leaders also commiserated with President Muhammadu Buhari over the death of Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff, and 10 other officers in the crash at Kaduna.
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