Leaders and people of Niger Delta will defend Nigeria’s unity because they believe the country should remain as one indivisible entity, River State Governor Nyesom Wike has said.
Speaking during a visit to Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Saad Abubakar at his palace, Wike said Nigeria’s unity is ‘non-negotiable’ and of paramount importance.
He added that the interest of Nigerians and Africans would be better served with Nigeria remaining as one “strong and united nation”.
He said: “Let me first of all sincerely thank you, our father the Sultan, for what you are doing for this country, working tirelessly to ring peace and to bring unity to the people. So, for all of us, this is what is meant by one Nigeria.
“We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers State to be specific. So, I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country,” Wike added.
According to the governor, his administration has put a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets, especially the ones in Rivers State.
“In Rivers, you hardly find pipeline vandalisation. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am governor for all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but a governor for all the people of Rivers State.”
He hailed the Sultan for his leadership of the Muslim community in Nigeria, adding that he was in Sokoto to felicitate with his colleague, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who gave out his daughter in marriage on Saturday.
He equally dispelled the notion that his relationship with Tambuwal had political connotation, saying the Sokoto governor had been his friend for a long time, “long before politics defined who we are now.”
“Tambuwal is my friend for a long time. If anything affects him, it affects me also. If he gives out his daughter in marriage, I have to be here to support him. If any problem happens to him, it affects me as well.
“Your Eminence, I am here to seek your royal blessing. You have blessed me before, that is why I am growing. So, let me wish you a prosperous new year ahead,” he added.
Both the host governor and Sultan implored Nigerians to live in peace with one another, and wished their countrymen and women a year full of happiness and blessings.
The governor has also restated his administration’s commitment to promoting peace and growth in the state.
In a New Year message broadcast in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said his administration had enormous political will to embark on projects that would trigger growth across the state.
He urged Rivers people to work together to ensure that the state enjoyed peace and development in 2017.
“We cannot thank you enough for your consistent prayers, understanding, sacrifices and unconditional support and encouragement throughout 2016.