One million Nigerians died to keep nation together – Buhari


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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that one million Nigerians lost their lives for the sake of keeping the nation united.

He said this while lamenting the series of troubles the country has experienced since January 15, 1966, to date, leading to the deaths.

The president said the deaths which occurred as a result of self-centredness leading to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 to 1970, would not be allowed to continue.

Buhari spoke on Tuesday when he received former state chairmen of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) at the State House, Abuja.

The president said, “Our main objective is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are human beings. We have our weaknesses, but I can assure you that the patriotism in us is hard earned.

”We have gone through all the troubles from 15th of January 1966 to date. You know what I mean by this, we have killed a million of ourselves in order to keep this country together.

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“I don’t think there can be any practical experience more than that. We are Nigerians, God willing we remain Nigerians and Nigeria will remain one.”

Buhari explained that the passion and zeal to improve the livelihood of Nigerians culminated in the creation of the political party.

He urged all members of the defunct CPC and political leaders to always be mindful of the larger picture by working towards preserving the unity, peace and integrity of the nation.

“I am delighted to welcome the forum of State Chairmen of the former Congress for Progressives’ Change to State House today. I accord great significance to this visit as it demonstrates a determination and commitment to identify with our administration.

“This visit recalls the solidarity with the successes that we have recorded in critical areas of our society. The visit also affords us the opportunity to discuss other issues of interest to the forum.

“I commend members of this forum and all members of the legacy party-CPC, for their continued dedication to the ideals of democratic governance that we all believed in.

“The doggedness with which we pursued our vision and goals that culminated into the success we recorded remain like bright stars in the history of our dear nation,” Buhari said.

Buhari said he was particularly grateful for the “unalterable belief the members of CPC and, by extension the Nigerian electorate, had and still have in me as demonstrated in their unalloyed support for our electoral struggles which reflected in the results that we consistently recorded at the polls over the years.’’

He said it was the solid credentials that the CPC possessed that gave the party a prime place in the merger that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress.

Other political parties in the merger include the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) along with some members from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and People’s Democratic Party.

The President said efforts had been made in appointing some members of CPC in his government, including those in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) like the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Water Resources, and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

“I listened to the remarks of your Chairman which highlighted our modest achievements in diverse areas. We shall remain resolute to continue to deliver on the promises we made to Nigerians, and to ensure that we attain greater milestones in terms of economic growth, infrastructural development, provision of security, and the war against corruption, among other responsibilities of government,’’ he added.

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