Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, on Friday said he was never against the unity of Nigeria, adding that all he wanted was a peaceful country.
Noting that issues of agitation did not mean that the country should break up, the governor urged President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt more of the carrot and stick approach with agitating groups rather than the use of brute force.
Fayose was recently accused by the Ekiti State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress of sponsoring activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra because the governor was delighted in the break-up of the country.
However, in an interview on Friday, the governor said, “Nobody wants Nigeria to divide. I’m not for division. Nobody is promoting disunity or anarchy. But, the Federal Government should engage in more of dialogue [with agitating groups]; it should use the carrot and stick approach rather than guns.
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“In every family, there are both the good and bad people. Agitation is normal in every society, but the way to go about it is to tread cautiously. Buhari should know that this is not 1984 [when the President ruled as a military dictator].”
Fayose added that the Federal Government should take the issue of restructuring seriously and that Buhari should rule with equity and justice.
He said, “Using brute or suppressive force is not democratic. Running a democracy should not be by propaganda. Democracy is not autocracy. The issue is beyond IPOB.
“What this government needs to do is to restructure and this matter should not be handled by the APC. It should not be a party affair.
“Having said that, I am not promoting IPOB, but Buhari should lead Nigeria with equity and justice. Let brute force become the last option in matters of agitation. Battles can be won without the use of force.”