A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, says the Federal Government and the pro-Biafran agitators must tread softly, adding that no nation has ever survived two civil wars.
George said this at an event to commemorate his 70th birthday in Lagos on Monday.
The PDP leader cautioned the two groups at the forefront of the pro-Biafra agitation: the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra.
He said secession was not the answer to the problems of Nigeria.
While pleading with the protesters and their leaders to hold talks with the Federal Government, George called for an equitable distribution of resources and appointments in the country, adding that the government must give every tribe and region a sense of belonging.
He said, “I want to plead with the Biafran protesters to be patient and I urge them to tread softly. No nation goes to civil war twice and survives. We are still meandering to build nationhood.
“Let us build this nation together. We must ensure that everyone has a sense of belonging. Sharing of resources and appointments should not be a winner-takes-all affair. Let us debate and deliberate over our affairs. Dismembering the system through protests and agitations is not the solution.”
George, who recently returned to Nigeria after spending over five months in London following the defeat of the PDP at the centre, said the party would have retained power but for some mistakes it made.
The PDP chieftain said the PDP leadership erred by making some people ministers even though they did not deserve it.
While making a veiled reference to a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, George said the PDP would have performed better in Lagos had the presidency not empowered people who were not committed to the party.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State, Capt. Tunji Shelle (retd.), said the party made a lot of mistakes in the last elections.
Shelle said some people were given campaign funds but absconded with the money. He added that some of the people had travelled out of the country in shame.
He, however, maintained that the PDP would continue to be an effective opposition.
He said, “Money went into the wrong hands. The people who should not handle money were the ones who handled money for the PDP. I don’t want to start mentioning names but they know themselves. Some of them cannot even stay in Nigeria today because of the damage they did to the party.
“We will continue to pray that they change their attitude and character. The PDP is a strong party but I know that Chief George has done his best.”
PDP leaders present at the event said that the party did quite well in the last elections in Lagos because of visionary leadership.