Governo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared that the leaders and people of the Niger Delta are strongly in support of a united Nigeria.
The governor said that like other patriotic Nigerians, they will always strive to defend the unity of the country, because Nigeria’s existence as an indivisible entity is “non-negotiable.”
Governor Wike spoke in Sokoto on Saturday when he visited the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad III, in his palace.
He said that the interest of Nigerians and Africans will be better served with Nigeria remaining as one “strong and united nation.”
Wike said: “Let me first of all sincerely thank you, our father, the Sultan, for what you are doing for this country; working tirelessly to bring peace and to bring unity to the people. So, for all of us this is what is meant by one Nigeria.
“We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers State to be specific, so I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country”.
Governor Wike said his administration has invested a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets, especially those in Rivers State.
He said: “In Rivers State you hardly find pipeline vandalism. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am the governor of all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but the governor of all the people of Rivers State.”
The governor, who commended the Sultan for his leadership of the Muslim community in Nigeria, said that he was in Sokoto State to felicitate with Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who gave out his daughter in marriage on Saturday.
He dispelled the rumour that his relationship with Governor Tambuwal had political connotations, saying that the former Speaker of the House of Representatives has been his friend for a long time, “long before politics defined who we are now.”
“Tambuwal has been my friend for a long time. If anything affects him, it affects me also. If he gives out his daughter in marriage, I have to be here to support him. If any problem happens to him, it affects me as well.
“Your Eminence, I am here to seek your royal blessing. You have blessed me before, that is why I am growing. So, let me wish you a prosperous New Year,” he added.
In their remarks, Governor Tambuwal and the Sultan implored Nigerians to live in peace with one another, and wished all the citizens a year full of happiness and blessings.