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Acting president warns Biafra agitators

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo has warned against hate speeches that threaten the nation's sovereignty.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria's Acting President

It's been two years since the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency, amid mixed reactions from Nigerians on the performance of the administration.

Buhari has been dogged by health challenges for most of the period and is currently out of the country on yet another medical vacation.

Osinbajo has been standing in for Buhari since May 7, 2017.

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Delivering the democracy day address to commemorate two years of the administration, Osinbajo said "we are ramping up the pace of work; the work of fulfilling all that we promised. In the next two years we will build on the successes of the last two. We have demonstrated a willingness to learn from our mistakes and to improve on our successes".

The acting president also listed the achievements of the administration to include the home grown school feeding program, the bilateral cooperation with Morocco to ramp up fertiliser production, sufficiently degrading the fighting capacity of terrorist sect Boko Haram, increasing quantity of locally produced foodstuff, enthroning transparency and accountability in the public service and fighting corruption.

On efforts to diversify the economy away from oil, Osinbajo said; "We are taking very seriously our ambition of agricultural self-sufficiency. I am delighted to note that since 2015, our imports of rice have dropped by 90 percent, while domestic production has almost tripled. Our goal is to produce enough rice to meet local demand by 2019".

The nation's acting president also highlighted the recently issued executive orders "which will make it easier for citizens to get the permits and licenses they require for their businesses, mandate government agencies to spend more of their budgets on locally produced goods, and promote budget transparency and efficiency".

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There have been agitations by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by the eccentric Nnamdi Kanu, for a Biafra republic carved out of the present Nigerian structure.

Osinbajo warned against agitations that will threaten the nation's sovereignty.

"While we all daily pre-occupy ourselves with pursuing the Nigerian Dream – which is the desire to better our lives and circumstances vigorously and honestly – it is inevitable that grievances and frustrations will arise from time to time.

"This is normal. What is not normal, or acceptable, is employing these frustrations as justification for indulging in discrimination or hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, or for seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity that has brought us all together as brothers and sisters and citizens.

"Nigeria belongs to all of us. No one person or group of persons is more important or more entitled than the other in this space that we all call home.

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"We have a responsibility to live in peace and harmony with one another, to seek peaceful and constitutional means of expressing our wishes and desires, and to resist all who might seek to sow confusion and hatred for their own selfish interests", he warned.

Osinbajo also assured Nigerians that better days lay ahead.

"And so we commemorate this second anniversary of our administration with confidence and optimism. I firmly believe that we have put the most difficult phase behind us; and we are witnesses to the ever-increasing intensity of the light at the end of the tunnel", he assured.

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