…Cede 2019 presidential ticket to S-East —S-S IPOB
…Pan-Yoruba group calls for Oduduwa Republic
…El-Rufai’s arrest order deceptive — MASSOB
…As APC North-Central youths demand apology
…FG’s assurance unsatisfactory— S-South leaders
By Our Reporters
More reactions have continued to trail the three months quit notice given the Igbo in the north by Arewa youths.
More reactions came from Igbo in South-West, who warned that they cannot be incited to fight war again; Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, which demanded that the 2019 presidential ticket be ceded to Ndigbo for peace to reign and a pan-Oodua group, which made calls for Oodua Republic, amongst others.
In their reaction, Igbo who are resident in Oyo State said no amount of provocation by Northern youths would incite the people to fight any form of war again.
Speaking through Chief Aloy Obi, the Onyendu Ndigbo of Ibadanland, they said those agitating for war against Igbo should be prevailed upon to allow the people to reside in any part of the country as provided by section 42 of the 1999 constitution.
While backing Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State for his tough stance against proponents of disintegration, they expressed displeasure at the alleged “seeming lackadaisical attitude of the police towards resolving the situation as the action of the Arewa groups contradicts the stand of the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, who said the police had sent detectives to arrest the youths that gave the ultimatum even when members of the group were still holding another meeting in Kaduna as at Wednesday”.
Chief Obi tasked the Northern youths to read history and find out the implication of their action, which, according to him, is tantamount to calling for war, saying,those that have witnessed war before will never pray for a situation of war.
He cautioned against such an unguarded statement and threat, which he said are capable of igniting fire in the fragile peace in Nigeria, especially when the agitation for Biafra is very much tensed in the Eastern part of the country as well.”
Cede 2019 presidential ticket to S-East — IPOB
Also reacting, IPOB in the South-South called on all the political parties in the country to cede their 2019 presidential tickets to the South-East, saying it is the only way to make the Igbo believe that they are wanted in this nation.
The group also berated comments in some quarters that IPOB is being sponsored by some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-East and South-South to destabilize the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, asserting that the recent call by the youths and elders of the North has proved the Igbo right that they are not needed in this country.
According to a statement signed by IPOB’s coordinator in the region, Dr Nwokorie Igbe, “it is obvious now to everybody that the Igbo are not the problem of this nation but the North, who have exploited us over the years. It is in the history of this nation that all the political parties apart from APGA forbids any Igbo man emerging under their platform as presidential candidate.
“Some people are today trying to blackmail Igbo youths that they are being sponsored, they should also tell us those who are sponsoring the massacre of the Igbo in the North and those who sponsored Boko Haram”.
Pan-Yoruba group calls for Oduduwa Republic
In its reaction, a pan-Yoruba group, O’odua Nationalist Coalition, ONAC, called on Yoruba people to prepare for their sovereign nation, Oduduwa Republic, following the lingering agitation for the breakup of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A statement issued by the Yoruba group, weekend, and signed by Oluwole Suleimann, Michael Popoola, and Mrs. Aduke Fadahunsi, and made available to Vanguard, stressed the need for the creation of Yoruba sovereign nation, Oduduwa Republic.
The group stressed that it became necessary in the face of the lingering problems and conflict built around the national question that has stunted the growth of Nigeria for over a century.
“This conflict has again reared its head, 50 years after a civil war that inflicted pain and misery on the Yoruba people, apart from distorting the development plan of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo for the South-West,” the group stated.
ONAC is made up of 18 pan-Yoruba groups, including the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC; Oodua Liberation Movement, OLM; Oodua Republic Coalition, ORC; Yoruba Revolutionary Congress, YORC; Oodua Muslim-Christian Dialogue Group, OMDG; Yoruba Students Nationalist Front, YOSNF; Oodua Hunters Union, OHUN, and 11 other groups.
The group also called on Yoruba people in the territories of the Hausa-Fulani North to be guided by a strong sense of history and the fact that they would not be spared by those who claim to be their hosts.
ONAC said: “We advise them to begin to make alternative plans for the inevitable upheaval being promoted by the Fulani oligarchy. The North has always been the aggressor because of the region’s loss of power and the unhidden desire to make Nigeria the irreversible extension of the Fulani emirate.
“Today, we make the historic declaration that Yoruba people are ready for our own Oduduwa Republic. We have watched events these past days. The cloud is getting thicker. The poisonous rain appears ready to fall. It is time for the Yoruba people to be ready to defend our homeland from being seized by local imperial elements and their collaborators. We assert Yoruba self-determination and sovereignty. We shall work for it. We will actualize it.”
El-Rufai’s arrest order deceptive— MASSOB
Meantime, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, weekend, described the directive given by Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State as deceptive and a cover up for the plots the North has put in place against Ndigbo.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki, Director of Information for the group, Comrade Edeson Samuel, who stated that anybody asking Ndigbo to remain in the North was an enemy of Ndigbo, accused Northerners of deriving pleasure in shedding the blood of innocent people at the slightest provocation.
According to him, Ndigbo living in the North should not listen to those false promises made by Northern governors because on the day of attack, none of these governors will show their face until after the killing.
The statement read in part: “Massob is maintaining its earlier stand on the quit notice given to Ndigbo in Northern Nigeria. We congratulate them for taking the bull by its horn. When a landlord is no longer interested in his tenants, the best way is to serve him quit notice instead of using thugs to eject him.
“The Northerners have given us quit notice, it is our duty to vacate their land without delay. It is better we part in peace than in pieces. The Bible says that two cannot work together unless they agree. The north and the east are like oil and water, which cannot be mixed. Our culture and religion differ. We the Igbo value lives, we hate shedding of blood but the Northerners derive joy in shedding the blood of innocent people. Anybody encouraging Ndigbo to remain in the north is an enemy of Ndigbo.
Declare state of emergency in the North — INC
On its part, Igbo National Council, INC, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency in the Northern part of Nigeria
The, INC National President, Comrade Chilos Godsent, stated this in a release, a copy which was made available to Vanguard in Owerri.
The release also warned the North that nobody has a monopoly of violence and described the call by the Northern youths as “naive and childish.”
Consequences ‘ll be devastating for the North—S/W Ndigbo leader
In his reaction, President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, South-West and Ekiti State, Chief Nathaniel Amaechi Uzomah, yesterday, declared that should Igbo decide to obey the order and vacate the North, the effect in the entire north would be more debilitating than desertification.
The Igbo leader, who said the quit notice was not meant for only the Igbo but the entire Southerners resident in the North, pointed out that the North stands to lose more in terms of the huge business investment, which is running into trillions of Naira and which is generating huge returns and contributing immensely to the region’s socio-economic development.
Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, Uzomah reminded the northerners that the Igbo’s loss would be temporary and recovery would be very quick, but that of the North would be devastating and prolonged.
Suggesting the way forward, he called for either implementation of last confab reports or convocation of another:
Direct your focus to united, restructured Nigeria — NIDCA
Meantime, the Niger Delta Consultative Assembly, NIDCA, has told Arewa youth groups to “silence their drum beat of war” and direct their focus towards the attainment of a united and restructured Nigeria where equality, justice and fair play would be the order of the day.
Chairman of the group, Chief Fred Obe, warned that the unguarded utterances on the “false pretext of reacting to Biafra agitations” could set up a chain reaction, the outcome of which could be dangerous.
APC North-Central youths demand apology
Miffed by the quit notice to Ndigbo, the North Central youths of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have demanded an apology from the coalition of northern youths who issued the quit notice.
The APC zonal group has consequently demanded an immediate withdrawal of the threat.
The group said: “The North-Central youths are saying those so-called Northern youths who issued that statement should immediately withdraw it and apologise to all Nigerians.”
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, the APC North-Central zonal youth leader, Comrade Terver Aginde, said the unity and progress of Nigeria is bigger than any group or individual.
While calling on Igbo to ignore the call for them to leave the region, the youth leader assured that North-Central will continue to work with all regions and ethnic groups in the marriage called Nigeria to ensure the success of the project.
FG’s assurance unsatisfactory— S-South leaders
Meanwhile, leaders and groups from the South-South, weekend, said in the face of more inflammatory utterances by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, and other northern groups, the police should arrest the Arewa youth leaders that issued the controversial quit notice, adding that the ordinary guarantee by the Federal Government to Igbo in the North to go about their businesses was dangerous to the country’s existence.
They urged the Federal Government to go beyond assurance to the Igbo and other ethnic groups in the north, as sequential evidences abound that where similar threat speeches were issued by northerners in the past, the halfhearted attitudes of the various governments made it possible for the threats to materialize.
The stakeholders posited that government should not treat the issue with a wave of hand, warning that unless a pre-emptive step was taken to nip the repeated threats of violence against the southern people in the bud, history may repeat itself.
Invitation to anarchy
A former Commissioner in Delta State and PDP chieftain, Chief Ighoyota Amori, said: “It is an invitation to anarchy, which the country cannot afford this time. The northern youths/elders should have a rethink because when the war starts, we all will be losers and that will be the end of Nigeria. America’s prediction would have come to pass. A stitch in time will save nine.”
National Publicity Secretary of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Mr Abel Oshevire, said: “The decision of the northern elders to support the obnoxious quit order given to the Igbo resident in the north by the Arewa youths is rascally, sacrilegious and a call to anarchy.
“Since the northern elders have decided to take the nation back to the dark days of the 60s, it is high time, therefore, that Nigerians sit down to redefine the parameters for our co-existence, if we must continue as one nation, to avoid such irrational behaviours by some sections of the country.”
One-time governorship aspirant in the state, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, told one of our reporters: “Northern elders have said it all. Let me tell you, what they are saying is that, if you as an ethnic stock like the Igbo or any race wants to secede from Nigeria, there is no need staying in my country or region. You better quit or leave my place or region. You better quit and let me issue you a visa before you can stay in my country or region.”
Alleged lip service
National President, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, Alaowei Cleric Esq, in a statement, said: “The invidious declaration of war against the Igbo vis-a vis the southern Nigerians by a coalition of Northern youths is an antithesis to our continued existence. The macabre song sang by these divisive elements is an insidious tsunami, which if executed, will consume the entire nation thereby bidding a goodbye to our marriage of circumstance.”
No to flimsy excuse
“The police should not give us flimsy excuses. The faces behind the threat are not masked men. They are known and prominent individuals in the North. All Nigeria security apparatus should go after them as they have been doing to South-South and South-East people. Even if they happen to withdraw their provocative statement, perhaps due to public odium, the law must still take its course for the felonious act already committed against the country,” the group said.
Biafra agitation a scam
Convener, South-South Reawakening Group, Joe Ambakederemo, however, asserted: “The position of the South-South Reawakening Group is that a people that have been clamouring to secede from Nigeria and heated up the polity unnecessarily have now been offered to be assisted to leave Nigeria and they are complaining. I have said severally that the agitation of Biafra is a business enterprise and all a scam. Any section of Nigeria that wants to leave should be allowed to leave and give us peace.”
President, Ijaw Professionals Association, IPA, (Homeland chapter), Hon Inuiro Wills, maintained: “It is hard to believe this kind of call can come from any responsible group. It is foolish for them to make or support such a call and not realize they are endangering their own brethren, who stay in other parts of the country.”
“Narrow minded so-called ethnic champions are a danger first to the common people of the ethnic constituency they claim to represent and also to the rest of the country. The security and intelligence agencies need to apprehend these agents of anarchy and treason,” he added.
Community and youth leader in Bayelsa state and also the National Coordinator of Niger Delta Development Monitoring Watch, NDDMW, Chief Nengi James, condemned the utterances of NEF and youths, warning that elders and leaders must desist from making inflammatory statement capable of fanning embers of war in the country, just as he urged the security agencies to act swiftly.
He said, “Some things do not just happen, I knew that some persons were behind the youths. They say that it is the elders that declare war, but it is the youths that fight the war. The Hausa man sees the Biafra agitations as a distraction and deliberate ploy by the Igbos to frustrate the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and I think there is mistrust between these groups. What is happening is a warning signal, when wounds are not properly healed it will resurfaced and something must always trigger a situation.”
“The federal government must be on the alert and see what is happening as a warning signal and threat to the country stability. Those in the authority should nip it at the bud before it is too late. The security agencies should not treat it with kid gloves or sweep it under the carpet, they must get to the root of this and take proactive measure on those behind it and cautioned them and call them to order, it is a serious matter and dangerous precedent.
“The federal government must heal the wounds of the easterners, after the civil war; there has not been proper compensation of the Igbo. Grievances of marginalization and political patronage must be addressed. Elders and leaders should desist from making inflammatory statements. There must be equity and justice if we must move forward,” he stated.
On his part, activist, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, asserted: “Every Nigerian, including the Igbo or any other ethnic group has the rights to life, personal liberty, freedom of movement and the rights to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria. No individual (s) or group (s) under any course, guise or excuse has the right to issue any ultimatum or warning to compel any Nigerian to leave or relocate from or to any part of the country without their wish.”
He commended Governors in the North and leaders for their outright condemnation of the hate speech, adding: “But I also want to believe that these are not mere political condemnations and disassociation because Nigerians need peace.”
Human Rights activist and state Executive Director of Community Policing Partners for Justice Security and Democratic Reforms COMPPART, Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Saviour Akpan, called for the division of the country into six zones as well as the implement of the 2014 National Conference report.
His words, “I am calling for the implementation of that conference report under Goodluck Jonathan administration because it will help to solve all these agitations in Nigeria. What is stopping government from implementing that report? So for me the best option is to divide this country into six so that every section goes their respective ways.”
“The quit notice is only a diversionary tactics and those northern youths are sponsored to make that noise. And some of those elders supporting them are those who looted this country and now they want to divert our attention and destabilize the country. Even if we are not Nigerians, we all have the right to live anywhere, we have the right to acquire and own moveable property anywhere in the word,” he said.