Babangida made the declaration when he granted audience to the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, led by IDA President Chief Chikezie Okezie and the Eze Igbo of Minna, Eze Pampas Ngozi Wahiwe.
Nigerians, including Igbos, the former Head of State said, should ensure they uphold the ideals of the country’s Independence founding fathers, adding that, “an indivisible Nigeria is very necessary and we must do everything possible to remain as one family though we differ in tribes and tongue.”
Babangida appreciated the Igbos for being very enterprising and determined to succeed by expanding into all parts of the country for business exploits, as he urged the community to use the same spirit of enterprise to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in all that they do, especially their host communities.
The former leader, who said he once wished to spend part of his life in the eastern part of the country, reminded every Nigerian that, “the indivisibility of the country is non-negotiable and this we must all promote at all times.”
“You have done well to keep Nigeria together,” Babangida who expressed appreciation to the delegation, said, adding that the Igbo are known for traveling far and wide exploring new frontiers and business opportunities.
The delegation had earlier told the retired General that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate him on his 78th Birthday, praying that God continues to grant him strength and wisdom to offer advice that would help Nigeria in solving its teething problems.
The Eze Igbo of Minna, Pampas Wahiwe, and IDA President were unanimous in their resolve that, “as an elder statesman, Ibrahim Babangida’s wise counsel is very much needed at this point in our national life.”