Former Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida believes Nigeria’s unity should be strengthened rather than negotiated.
Calls for secession, especially from the southern part of the country, have made headlines in recent years.
Despite the agitations – largely led by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB ) and most recently the Yoruba Nation agitators – Babangida is calling on Nigerians to support the country’s leaders.
“I don’t think it is right for Nigerians to start talking about the unity of this country. I believe it is a settled issue,” he told Channels Television’s Newsnight.
“We all agreed that we are going to be a united country. So, nobody should be talking about an enclave that he calls his own. What we should be doing is how we strengthen our unity.”
On the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, the ex-military president defended his decision, saying it was taken in the best interest of the nation.
“It is a decision we took. I had to take that decision, I did that to the best of my knowledge, in the interest of the country,” he explained.
“I did the right thing. I can sit back and say some of the things I said manifested after I had left. We had the coup and that coup lasted for five years.”
The poll, considered as Nigeria’s fairest election, was keenly contested between the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Moshood Abiola and Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
The SDP flagbearer, better known as MKO Abiola, was believed to be coasting to victory before the election was annulled by Babangida who cited irregularities at the time.