The National Council of State (NCS) yesterday gave a stern warning to politicians to stop making inciting statements, saying such unguarded comments coming from public office holders threaten the unity of the country.
Also, at the NCS meeting which lasted over six hours at the council chambers of the presidential villa, governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside their Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) counterparts as well as other council members unanimously endorsed the proposed national conference billed for next month.
The NCS also approved the appointment of the new chairman for the National Population Commission (NPC), including some new members and some old members who are to be reappointed.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari, were conspicuously absent at the council meeting.
Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, told journalists after the meeting that all governors, including APC governors at the meeting, endorsed the national conference because it was essential that Nigerians sit and talk about the future of the country, irrespective of political party affiliation.
Suswam said the warning to politicians to beware of inciting statements followed issues raised in this regard by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Dasuki Sambo (rtd).
He added that Sambo also briefed council on the security situation in the country which prompted members of the council to make suggest for some new security measures to be adopted by security agencies.
Suswam said, “The president briefed us about a lot of things including the impending conference that is coming up. There were a lot of contributions and the council approved it. We were also presented with a list of the new chairman for the Population Commission and some new members and some to be reappointed. That, too, was approved
“The NSA briefed us that some of the unguarded statements by some prominent Nigerians that are capable of inciting people; that we should be careful as major actors in the polity to avoid making unguarded utterances that could unwittingly incite the generality of Nigerians. The council took note of that and agreed that people should be more careful about what they say as public office holders”.
On his part, Okorocha said, “We deliberated on how to move the nation forward. We also discussed other national issues including the centenary celebrations,security matters and issues of national conference and basically how to move the nation forward.”
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued before the commencement of the council meeting between Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako and his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji.
Nyako, one of the G5 governors who defected to the APC, told Orji jokingly that he was not comfortable sitting by his side any longer because he feared that Orji would poison him.
Nyako said: “I am telling you, don’t poison me here. I am not comfortable with you here. If anything happens to me here, walahi, my people will take you to court.you to court!”
Orji replied: “For how many years have we been sitting together? Is it this zero hour that I would poison you?
Nyako said: “Who knows? (Talking to Gov Martins Elechi of Ebonyi who had just arrived). I am just warning him not to poison me. Is there any law that says we should sit down together?”