Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), former military head of state, says Nigerians do not believe in secession.
The former military ruler said this in an interview with Arise Television on Friday.
When asked about secession agitations in the south-east and south-west, Babangida said it is good to agitate and that when agitators make the “noise” of secession it will not get the support of Nigerians.
“It is always good to agitate but because there is this belief that this country should be one. When they make the noise, they find that it won’t get supported, because Nigerians generally don’t believe in anything that would disturb their peace of mind. They won’t do it.”
He blamed politicians for disunity in the country.
He said there was a time in the country when people held positions in regions outside their ethnic groups, adding that the present crop of politicians are not serious about nation building.
”If you look back, if you take a place like Baga, in the north-east, the Igbo man, Yoruba man travelled up to Baga for trading, he lived very comfortably, he lived very well with the people around there,” he said.
“If you go to Lagos, the same thing, Yorubas, Igbos, who hold political appointments at local levels and live very well with the people.
“I think we, the coming elites, did not succeed in imbibing that culture (culture of unity) for the country, so we rather live with the culture that the Europeans handed over to us — Northern Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria, Western Nigeria. We have in 1963, mid-west but we did not build ourselves as a nation.
“The political elites, then that were being developed, they run back to their cocoons and accept that, yes I have to be a thing or do this or that.
“Till today, unfortunately, the political class are not really into this seriously and say how do we build a nation.”