Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the clamour for secession in some parts of Nigeria is unacceptable.
Mohammed spoke on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the 2021 annual general meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Bauchi.
While the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is seeking secession of the south-east, some Yoruba campaigners are agitating for the breakaway of the south-west.
Mohammed noted that while it is “rational and ideal” for citizens to call for restructuring and true federalism, calls for secession are intolerable.
He said the federal government has set necessary mechanisms in motion to tackle insecurity and that Nigeria can overcome its problems.
“While it is alright for citizens to call for restructuring and true federalism, what is not acceptable is the call in certain quarters for secession,” Mohammed said.
“Whatever challenges we have today as a nation, can and will be surmounted. In fact, the federal government had set in motion the necessary machinery to tackle the challenge of insecurity.
“We should therefore not allow today’s challenges, whether in the area of economy or security, to jeopardise our unity.”
The minister enjoined the NIPR to use its platform to work for the unity of Nigeria.
“That task has never been more urgent than now against the background of discordant voices in the country and calls for separation,” Mohammed said.
“I see NIPR as a capable partner in government’s effort to douse the tension in the land and beat the drum of unity rather than the drum of war.
“May I also repeat my call to NIPR to raise voice against those fanning the embers of disunity and discord in the country. Without a country that is peaceful and secured, there can be no development.
“This administration is doing everything possible to return peace and security across the country.”
He encouraged the NIPR to partner with the federal government in the fight against fake news, misinformation and hate speech.