Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Saturday declared his belief in a united Nigeria and condemned calls for secession by some groups in the country.

Mr Umahi said this in Abakaliki during the conclusion of the 8-day prayer and fasting session organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ebonyi State Chapter, over the security situation in the state.

The governor said he believed in a country where oneness, freedom, equity, justice, fairness among other virtues prevailed.

“I do not believe in second-class citizenship where a section of the country is being seen to be superior to others.

“We are all created by God and no one should talk of disintegrating the country,” he said.

He admitted that most of the secessionist groups’ agitations were genuine, noting that they could however be addressed.

“I want Igbos to submit these agitations and I would lead the governors and leaders of the zone to the centre to address these grievances.

“The groups can then do what they like if after six months, we fail to address these grievances,” he said.

Mr Umahi urged the people to shun bitterness, anger, violence among other vices, to avoid bringing war and destruction unto the land.

“We would tell the authorities in Abuja that our people are aggrieved but such cannot be addressed by insulting the president, governors and leaders from other regions of the country,” he said.

The governor thanked CAN for nurturing the spiritual life of the state and urged it to engage all aggrieved groups in the 13 local government areas of the state to shun violence.

Abraham Nwali, a Catholic priest and the state chairman of CAN, admonished Ebonyi residents and Nigerians to appreciate God’s mercy upon them and repent from their “evil ways”.

“There has been no destruction or armed robbery in the state since this prayer and fasting session commenced as this shows God’s divine mercy upon the state.

“No country would experience the present situation in Nigeria and still remain one yet the citizens are bracing the inherent challenges with fortitude,” he said.

(NAN)

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