The United States ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has said those calling for secession in Nigeria will be overcome by Nigerians who support the unity of the country.
US Ambassador Stuart Symington
Symington, speaking at an event held in commemoration of the 241st anniversary of American independence in Abuja on Thursday, June 29, drew similarities between Nigeria and America, the Punch reports.
The ambassador said the first American president, George Washington, had warned that those who seek to weaken a country would always seek to start by causing disunity.
He said just like America, determined people and leaders in Nigeria would ensure that the country remains united.
Symington said: “Every time we have been challenged, we overcame danger because we had visionary leaders committed to union and citizens committed to ensuring justice for all.
“Today, Nigeria is fortunate to have such leaders and citizens. Together, they are dedicated to keeping Nigeria united and just and to ensuring every Nigerian is heard and taken into account and treated fairly.
“Together, those Nigerians will overpower any call to divide this nation.
“Thanks to them, thanks to you, the lamp of unity and justice burns brightly both in our nations tonight. And the sight of a united Nigeria’s light lifts Africa and with it, the world.”
The US envoy said Nigeria’s diversity is an inspiration to many countries, noting that Nigeria’s plurality was a source of strength.
Meanwhile, the Urhobo Peoples Integrity Group (UPIO) has distanced Urhobo people from being part of Biafra map, describing it as an insult to conscript Urhobos in the Biafra struggle without their consent.
The group in a statement through its president, Olorogun Ebenezer Okorodudu, said Igbos had the right to pursue self-determination, but noted that such right does not give them the justification to compel other groups to join the Biafra agitation without consultation.
The UPIO said the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) is the socio – cultural organization that takes decision for the Urhobo people after exhaustive consultation with traditional rulers and the people.