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Nigeria unity not negotiable, says Senate

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SENATORS spoke yesterday about Nigeria’s unity. It is not negotiable, they said.

The upper chamber also asked agitators to make their case within constitutional means.

It said that all possible measures would be explored to restore peace to all parts of the country.

This is part of the resolutions of the lawmakers after a lengthy closed session.

The Senate resumed plenary yesterday after a two-month recess and dissolved into executive session to address national issues.

Sources said the Senate deliberated on burning national issues, including the agitation for restructuring, the economy and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), its proscription by Southeast governors and classification as a terrorist organisation by the Federal Government.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, who announced the resolutions, said: “the Senate resolved that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable and we are all committed to the territorial integrity of our country.

“The Senate will use all possible measures to make sure that peace is restored to all parts of Nigeria.

“The Senate hereby advises that all groups who seem to be pursuing any agitation should do so within constitutional means.”

Senate Committee Chairman  on Media and Public Affairs Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi,speaking on the proscription and classification of IPOB as a terrorist organisation, as long as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and President Muhammadu Buhari followed due process, the Senate agreed with them.

He said the Senate never opposed what the Federal Government did “but we insisted on due process and following the constitutional means.”

A source at the closed session said Southeast senators briefed their colleagues on the activities of IPOB and some actions taken in the zone.

Senators, the source said, condemned violence in any part of the country.

Northern senators were said to have asked their Southeast colleagues to take the massage home that established channel of agitation as stipulated in the constitution should always be followed to address perceived grievances.

Other issue said to have been discussed at the session was  the “poor implementation of the 2017 budget.”

The source said: “Many of us wanted to know how far the country had gone with the implementation of the 2017 budget. Many expressed displeasure over the implementation of the budget especially the report that contractors are not getting money.

“Some wanted to know whether the country is actually out of recession.

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