Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advised Nigerians against breaking the bond of unity and peace existing in the country.
Mr Osinbajo gave the advice in Uyo on Saturday at a grand ceremony organised by the Akwa Ibom government to mark the 30th anniversary of the creation of the state.
The vice president, who is on a two-day working visit to the state, urged the people to resist attempts by any group trying to push them to destroy the existing peace in the country.
“Peace is the foundation of enduring prosperity and for peace to reign everywhere in Nigeria, all of us as Nigerians must make necessary sacrifices.
“We are in a situation where we must take seriously the admonition to love one another.
“Whatever complaints we may have must not be an excuse to subvert the social order,” Mr Osinbajo said.
He assured Nigerians that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is ever ready to listen to all genuine complaints from any group.
“The Buhari government is prepared to engage and listen patiently to all sections of the country.
“But you as individuals also have a major role to play.
“Citizens everywhere should not sit idle when misguided elements choose to recklessly destroy the common bond of brotherhood and friendship that has put us together for decades,” Mr Osinbajo said.
The vice president, who was the special guest of honour at the event, praised Governor Udom Emmanuel for his visionary leadership in the state.
He descibed Akwa Ibom as a state with great history, which creation 30 years ago started with the agitation by Ibibio State Union for the creation of COR state.
He stated that Akwa Ibom is one of the fastest growing states in the country.
He assured that the Federal Government would support the state to develop the Ibaka seaport.
“Provisions have been made in the current budget of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) for the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Emmanuel had expressed appreciation to former military President Ibrahim Babangida for creating Akwa Ibom State on September 23, 1987.
Mr Emmanuel also acknowledged the efforts made by the former governors of the state made to lay a solid foundation laid for its growth.
“The bush paths had become highways, our villages had turned into metropolis, I am here to consolidate on the achievements of all the past leaders,” said the governor.
He said the creation of the state was a divine plan.
Mr Emmanuel, therefore, urged the people of Akwa Ibom to unite for the development of the state irrespective of their ethnic and political differences.
Speaking on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, congratulated the Akwa Ibom people for the unity among them.
He also congratulated Mr Emmanuel for the laudable projects he initiated toward the economic development of the state.
Mr Fayose said the governor deserved a second term.
In his speech on behalf of National Assembly members from Akwa Ibom, the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said the strength of Nigeria depends on its large population.
“We in the National Assembly will not support division, we stand for one Nigeria. We will not support disintegration,” Mr Akpabio said.
Mr Akpabio, who is the immediate past governor of the state, said that the Akwa Ibom people were praying that the will of God to be done in Nigeria.
He commended Mr Emmanuel for laying foundation for the industrialisation of the state.
Speaking on behalf of former governors of Akwa Ibom, Idongesit Nkanga, noted that a lot of positive things had happened in Akwa Ibom since its creation.
Mr Nkanga, a retired air commodore, was the third military administrator and first indigenous governor of the state.
He called on the federal government to restructure Nigeria based on true federalism.
He lauded Mr Emmanuel for putting in place structures aimed at speeding up industrialisation of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that many dignitaries including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the former governor of Akwa Ibom, Victor Attah, were at the event.