Acting President Yemi Osinbajo hsas urged state governors to safeguard the lives and properties of all citizens residing in their states.
Osinbajo, who gave the advice at a consultative meeting with the governors at the Presidential Banquet, Abuja, said the directive had become imperative in view of the fact that “Nigeria is indissoluble’’.
He warned that leaders must not allow “the careless use of words and careless expressions” that might degenerate into crisis.
According to him: “We are a people that like to talk and we express ourselves loudly but it is expected for us to recognise that it is those same words that can cause conflagration that can unfortunately lead to calamity.
“We must be careful of how we express ourselves.
“What we have seen in recent times is that some of the languages used have tended to degenerate badly and I think that we must begin to speak up against some of these things and ensure that we protect our democracy and our nation from the hands of rhetorics that may just divide us.”
The acting president revealed that from his previous consultative meetings with leaders of thought from the North and South East states of the federation the meetings had agreed that Nigeria’s unity should not be taken for granted.
He said, no one wants to see Nigeria goes down the path of bloodshed or war, saying all the leaders including traditional leaders agreed on the permanency of the Nigeria’s constitution, is the basis for the nation’s unity.
“It is the basis for the legal contract that exists between all of us.
“Our meetings were frank and open as I hope this will be. We were able to agree on most of the critical issues that were discussed and in most cases changed perceptions that may have been long embedded in their minds.
“We also agreed that under no circumstances should we condone hateful speeches and that government should take all steps necessary to bring to book all those who preach violence, in particular the kind of expressions of dissent that can cause violence.’’
He said the leaders also agreed on the need to do more to engage the youth productively by ways of creating more jobs and economic opportunities.