Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, on Thursday said that Federal Government would not allow the country to be dismembered as it faces calls for secession in a region formerly known as Biafra and Oodua Republic along with a separatist insurgency by Boko Haram.
The minister who criticised calls for secession in some parts in Nigeria, calling it unacceptable. made this known while delivering a speech virtually at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) held in Bauchi State.
Lai, however, said it was rational and ideal for citizens to call for restructuring and true federalism, adding that whatever challenges facing the country can be overcomed.
There have been calls for a Biafra Republic in the South-East region of the country, and for Yoruba nation (Oodua Republic) in the South-West parts of the country.
Speaking further, Mohammed said, “While it is alright for citizens to call for restructuring and true federalism, what is not acceptable is the call in certain quarters for secession.
“Whatever challenges we have today as a nation, can and will be surmounted. In fact, the Federal Government had set in motion the necessary machinery to tackle the challenge of insecurity.
“We should therefore not allow today’s challenges, whether in the area of economy or security, to jeopardise our unity,” he said.
The information minister further appealed to NIPR to use its platform to work for the unity of Nigeria.
“That task has never been more urgent than now against the background of discordant voices in the country and calls for separation.
“I see NIPR as a capable partner in the government’s effort to douse the tension in the land and beat the drum of unity rather than the drum of war.
“May I also repeat my call to NIPR to raise voice against those fanning the embers of disunity and discord in the country. Without a country that is peaceful and secured, there can be no development.
“This administration is doing everything possible to return peace and security across the country,” the minister said.