A senator, Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), says it is impossible for Nigeria to break regional lines because southern businesspeople are investing more in the north than in the south.
This is what Adamu said when he hosted the Tanzanian High Commissioner for Nigeria, Benson Bana, in Abuja on Friday.
Mr Adamu’s comment is also set against the backdrop of a recent surge in nationalist agitation, including a call in the southeast for the formation of the Republic of Biafra.
“I can tell you authoritatively that Igbo business people are investing more in the north in this country than in the eastern region itself,” Adamu said.
“I can also say of authority. There are probably more Igbo people living outside of the Southeast than those who live in the area.
“Does it speak well of us now if we work to ensure that everyone should return to their place?
“We are not realistic with ourselves. I have no problem in a democratic environment where you are sincerely criticizing me, ”he said.
“I can do justice to your criticism, I can say something about you too, but let the spirit hold the country together.
“Let the spirit be that we are brothers, we are the guardians of each other, as the Bible and the Koran confess,” said Adamu.
He advised “those who beat the war drums” to stop.
“Those of us old enough to have seen the civil war in Nigeria will no longer pray for such a thing. I don’t want to leave this country. I don’t know any other country, I don’t dream of having any other country than Nigeria.
“So anyone who doesn’t want this country can go where they want to go,” said Adamu.
The legislature criticized the high level of sabotage of state programs in the country.
Mr. Bana, who shared the same opinion with Mr. Adamu, said nation building in Africa has always been a process.
“It is not an event, the disintegration of a nation is not the best option for Africa.
“I’ve read the newspapers. In one of my readings, I came to look over an interview that you granted, you talked at length about association affairs.
“And I looked at the argument you made, it was arguments from a respected senator, a patriotic leader, an astute politician of the present day.
“And the arguments that you have put forward have been very well received in my country. Tanzania is an amalgamation of two sovereign states, Zanzibar and Tanganyika.
“The path for the union has not been so smooth, a lot of people wanted to know if we can live with the union for a long time or if there will come a point where people will have to break up,” he said.
Mr Bana said the 1999 constitutional amendment process was a sensitive issue that the country’s leaders must take seriously.
“Constitutional processes are sensitive processes, they should not fall into the hands of the wrong people.
“You have to be protected, there should be limits,” he said.
As Nigeria grapples with severe economic and political challenges, including growing insecurity, various regional groups have campaigned for secession in recent months.
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