By Anthony Ogbonna
A statement credited to the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Professor. Ango Abdullahi has claimed that the Professor allegedly said that the North is ready to be on her own should a breakup of Nigeria become feasible. The statement also claimed that Prof. Abdullahi said that there is also nothing wrong in Ndigbo asking for a country of their own.
Abdullahi was said to have given the statement in reaction to an alleged accusation by some South-East leaders that the Northern Elders were sabotaging the efforts to restructure the country.
According to the statement claimed to have been given to The Sun, Abdullahi however said the North is not aware of any sabotage of the efforts at restructuring the country.
The statement also claimed that Prof. Abdullahi said further that if Nigerians are tired of staying as an entity, they should be ready to go their separate ways.
“You see the issue of restructuring is one of the fundamental issues that shape Nigerian history from 1914 up to 1960.
“In fact, we are not aware of any sabotage, may be the South East leaders were working on assumption.
“But if restructuring will save Nigeria, I think it is a matter that affects every Nigerian including those in the North and we are ready to engage in it to correct the anomalies in Nigeria starting from 1914.
“Well, if you read our communiqué in Kano recently, we categorically stated that the Northern Elders Forum is prepared to engage in any discussion with any group that is supporting restructuring of Nigeria, so, this means that we are fully supporting restructuring.”
“You see, the issue of Biafra is all part of the discussion of restructuring Nigeria.
“Yes, if Biafra means negotiations, yes, it’s all a matter of discussion, if it means Igbo want to have a country of their own separate from Nigeria, it means a matter of discussion and we are prepared for the discussion.
“This is all I have been saying that if Nigerians are tired of staying together, they should be prepared to accept divisions instead of remaining in agony and disappointment of one another.
“You see, what I am saying is that every Nigerian should be able to speak his opinion about the state of the country, and the country has laws.
“If it is discovered that the law of a country is violated, that somebody has gone beyond his fundamental rights, the law is very clear on this.
“What perhaps government is concerned about is that violence was part of Kanu’s agitation, to realize his dream by force, I think that is what government is trying to tackle to my understanding.
“So if Kanu is talking about Biafra, he is free to talk about Biafra and everybody is free to talk about his understanding of the Nigerian state.
“We are always talking that the Nigerian state is not working and how can we make it to work? And if the best option, is to call for separate countries, why not?