The consultations by the Presidency with various segments of the Nigerian society will continue, the Spokesman of the Acting President, Mr Laolu Akande, said on Tuesday.
He stated this in a release while emphasizing the import of the dialogue the Acting President had with leaders from the North, Southeast and the media over the last two weeks.
“While this set of consultations was concluded last week, the presidency will continue to actively engage with different segments of the Nigerian population at different stages and formats in the near future.
“The meetings were convened to provide a platform for frank and open discussions between the concerned stakeholders and by extension the Nigerian public on issues relating to the unity, peace and security of the country,’’ the release said.
In the course of the interaction from June 13, to June 22, the Acting President gave the assurance that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was not deaf to grievances in parts of the country and would address them.
He, however, urged that such grievances should be expressed with grace.
According to Akande interactions began following the recent spate of agitations pitting some groups in the North against others in the Southeast while Osinbajo used it to douse inter-ethnic tension using political, religious, traditional and media leaders.
He said the meetings established some common ground on a number of issues such as the condemnation of all the hate and divisive rhetoric by the concerned groups of Northern and Southeastern youths.
“They affirmed the need for all leaders and elders, regardless of political or ideological persuasion, to speak out more forcefully to counter divisive and hate speeches and any form of warmongering.
“They also affirmed the primacy of the country’s constitution, the ultimate basis for the unity of Nigeria.”
Also during the meetings it was agreed that the constitution guarantees freedom of residence and of movement for all Nigerians anywhere in the country, without fear of discrimination or prejudice.
They also affirmed the need to draw a line between the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution and the degeneration of such expression into hate rhetoric and prejudice.
The interactions similarly affirmed the necessity of confronting all grievances and frustrations head-on, however uncomfortable they might seem instead of ignoring issues and allowing them to fester.
The Acting President expressed appreciation to all the leaders for their time and commitment to the unity, peace and progress of the nation.
He also assured Nigerians of the determination and resolve of the Buhari administration to ensure their well-being and security at all times.