Garba Shehu’s allegation that calls for secession were financially motivated was greeted with angry reactions from Nigerians on social media.
The presidential spokesman also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be bullied.
Shehu, who stated this on Tuesday while speaking at an event organized by the All Progressives Congress (APC), reteriated that Nigeria’s unity was non-negotiable as he condemned socio-political groups, Afenifere and Ohaneze Ndigbo, for their stance on disintegration.
“The first one is about the unity of this country and the calls for secession, and they said the presidency is not talking; the presidency has been talking and our position is clearly that this country is one and is united, and by the grace of God will continue to be united,” said Shehu
“One thing with this President – and the National Secretary (of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC) has said a bit of that; you can’t intimidate Buhari. You can’t bully him.
“This thing about secession; they had used it in the past. You create secession and break up Nigeria and then, you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the booth and he brings money to settle people. President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay,” he added
Critics condemned Shehu’s comments as a successful diversion from the fundamental reason behind various secessionist agitations that have continued to gain momentum across the country in recent times.
See reactions below.