Members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) of South East origin, serving in President Muhammadu Buhari’s hometown, Daura, Katsina State have been urged to tell their kith and kin to abandon their agitation for Biafra.
Mr Buhari while playing host to about 100 Corps members posted to Daura on Tuesday in his private residence, he stressed the need for all to work together to build a unified Nigeria.
The President singled out the presence in Daura of NYSC members from South South and South East and lauded the vision of the administration of General Yakubu Gowon for setting up the scheme in 1973.
He said the scheme has creditably promoted national unity and cohesion by exposing young people to the uniqueness and cultural diversity of Nigeria.“I asked for those from the other extreme of Nigeria because I very much appreciate the NYSC scheme and whenever I see General Gowon, I always thank him for that,” he added.
Addressing the South East Corps members specifically, he said: “Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it.’
“As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the north and the east, to the border between Cameroons and Nigeria.“I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, in which at least 2 million Nigerians were killed.
“We were made by our leaders to go and fight Biafra not because of money or oil, because oil was not critical factor then, but because of one Nigeria.
“So if leaderships at various levels failed, it was not the fault of the rest of Nigerians who have no quarrel with one another.
“So please tell your colleagues that we must be together to build this country. It is big enough for us and potentially big enough in terms of resources.
”Those who work hard will earn a respectable living. I have seen this country, I fought for this country and I will continue to work for the unity of this country.’’
President Buhari called on Nigerian youths to make Nigeria great again through pursuit of knowledge, patriotism and commitment to values that promote national unity.
He pledged his unalloyed commitment to the unity and prosperity of Nigeria.
Buhari urged them to remain focused in life, pursue their dreams and reject those fanning embers of discord and disintegration of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Mr Egbewumi Adebolu, the Corps Liaison Officer in Daura, thanked the President for the honour of receiving them and making their stay in Daura memorable.
He said the youths strongly believed in the programme of the President to reduce unemployment and create jobs for more Nigerians.
Adebolu thanked the President for his personal gifts of cows, bags of rice and cash to corps members in the community for Salah celebration.