A pan-socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, however, supported Buhari.
The ACF, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Biu, said indeed the nation’s unity was not negotiable.
The northern body commended the President’s broadcast, which it said was all encompassing, especially on the unity and indivisibility of the country.
It said, “The ACF supports the position of government on the issues of restructuring and the channels of addressing genuine grievances through the appropriate democratic institutions such as the legislature and the judiciary.’’
On its part, the Coalition of Northern Groups, which gave a notice to quit to the Igbo in the North, said it supported any move that would ensure sanity in the country.
The coalition noted that the President’s speech was a reiteration of what the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had said “at the last Council of State meeting that he chaired.”
It said, “We are in total support of any move by government to bring about sanity in the country and to finally bring an end to all divisive agitations and separatist tendencies.”
Also, a northern elder statesman and Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, said the address by Buhari should “naturally” end the agitations for secession in parts of the country.
Yakasai said, “I also believe that the unity of this country is not negotiable. At a constitutional conference before independence, a request was made that a clause empowering regions to secede should be included in our constitution. I recall that the conference unanimously rejected that clause.
“The decision made then is binding on us even after independence. There is no singular provision for secession. The president said the National Assembly and the Council of State are the only platforms for discussing issues of this country.”
Similarly, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Monday, hailed Buhari’s speech.
He described it as “outstanding,” adding that the President was apt on issues affecting the country.
Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke at the national headquarters of the party, Abuja, said, “Mr. President is correct to say that the stability of this nation, the unity of this nation, the peace of this nation and the security of ordinary Nigerians are the key issues at this material time.”
He said the President’s speech was not tough on those clamouring for political restructuring.
He said, “The President did not insinuate in his speech that those clamouring for restructuring and the rest cannot discuss. You can discuss; the only issue that is out of bounds is the unity of this nation.”
Also, the deputy national chairman of the APC (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, on Monday, said the President’s speech, among other important issues, was specifically aimed at reassuring Nigerians of their safety in any part of the country.
He said, “One major point from the speech is the President’s determination to nip in the bud the purported notice to quit given by some misguided youths in the north, as well as their counterparts elsewhere who have been heating up the polity by fanning the embers of discord.”