Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Nigerians to have mutual respect for one another regardless of tribe or religion.
Professor Osinbajo, who expressed concern over the increasing rate of hate speeches arising from ethnic and religious intolerance, asked the citizens to shun all acts capable of destroying Nigeria’s peace and unity.
He made the call on Wednesday at a forum on national unity and stability organised by the Institute for Security Studies in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
“We must ensure that there is respect for each other, we must respect each other; we must respect the views of each other. In conversation, in interactions, we must show respect for each other. We must respect each other’s religions, we must respect each other’s views; the language of interaction must be civil.”
The Acting President also cautioned youths and ethnic groups across the nation to avoid being misled by those who continue to describe Nigeria as a mere geographical expression, rather than a country.
He noted that Nigerians must be civil in their choice of words, warning that the Federal Government would not tolerate people speaking otherwise.
“The truth of the matter is that by our sheer size – our markets, our combined resources– this country is much greater and even its potentials are even far greater than the potentials of most countries anywhere in the world; not just in Africa”.
The Chairman of the occasion and former Head of State, Retired General Yakubu Gowon, also appealed for caution on the part of the youths and the government, saying: “No nation survives multiple civil war”.
Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura, gave a stern warning to armed agitators while the traditional ruler of Nembe Kingdom King Edmund Daukoro urged the government to examine the cause of the various agitations.
The two-day seminar with the theme: ‘Unity in Diversity: Security and National Development’, is expected to examine the challenge of nation building in a heterogeneous polity, fiscal federalism and Nigeria’s stability among other things.