World Bulletin / News Desk
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday stressed for unity in his first address to the nation since his return to Nigeria after a prolonged absence for health reasons.
The Nigerian leader, who was in London for 103 days, failed to raise the issue of his health however.
“Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far,” Buhari said in a national broadcast Monday.
“Nigeria's unity is settled and not negotiable,” he added.
The president's comments come after ethnic tensions these past months, namely regarding a separate homeland for ethnic Igbo of Nigeria's southeast. Following the country's 1967 civil war in which the Igbo, the country's third largest ethnic group, sought to separate from Nigeria but was defeated, the people have alleged mistreatment and subjugation by the country's leadership.
Critics warn that Buhari's speech could lead to an attempt to regulate social media, where tensions have intensified in the past months.
The president also demanded that security agencies not relent in the fight against the militant group Boko Haram in the northeast.
While Buhari seemed composed during the broadcast, some have voiced concern about the fact that he did not address his health status in an address meant to boost confidence in his leadership.