President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he was part of the struggle to keep Nigeria as one indivisible entity.
He made the claim in his democracy day speech on Wednesday in Abuja.
The statement is coming at a time when the president is accused of nepotistic and tribal appointments which favour the northern part of the country.
It is also coming at a time when he is accused of being silent in 1993 when the June 12 general elections were annulled.
Buhari said, "I was involved at close quarters in the struggle to keep Nigeria one. I can, therefore, do no more than dedicating the rest of my life to work for the unity of Nigeria and upliftment of Nigerians.
"In 2002-2003 campaigns and elections, I travelled by road to 34 of the 36 states of the Federation. This year I travelled by air to all 36 states of the Federation.
"Before and during my time in the Armed Forces and in government, I have interacted with Nigerians of all ages and persuasions and different shades of opinion over a period of more than fifty years. And my firm belief is that our people above all want to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians. They desire an opportunity to better themselves in a safe environment.
"Most of the instances of inter-communal and inter-religious strife and violence were and are still as a result of sponsorship or incitements by ethnic, political or religious leaders hoping to benefit by exploiting our divisions and fault lines, thereby weakening our country."