Igbo the only true Nigerians — Prof. Nduka Eya, monarchs
FG should adhere to Arewa youths’ view on Biafra — Attanike
By Chinenyeh Ozor & Emmanuel Ayungbe
RETIRED Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Mr. Udom Ekpoudom has described the quit notice given the Igbo by the Arewa youths as treasonable and contravenes the laws of the land. He also identified fault in the present structure of the country and advocated restructuring as the panacea for dousing the tension generated by the various ethnic groups in the country.
This is even as the erstwhile commissioner for education in the old Anambra state, Prof Nduka Eya said that the Igbo are the only Nigerians that champion the one-Nigeria agenda as they reside in all the parts of the country.
Ekpoudom, who spoke to Vanguard in his office, at Edene Abak, Akwa Ibom State,said Biafra agitators are not necessarily seeking to split the country but drawing attention of the Federal Government to issues of neglect and marginalization.
He said Nigeria needs to be restructured based on the principles of federalism. This he added will allow ethnic nationalities to come together, create and manage their own resources.
The former Police chief recalled that the constitution which is currently in operation was enacted by an “Order in Council”during the colonial era,when the country was administered as a crown colony.
“This constitution came into effect on the first of January 1914. Subsequent inputs are only amendments here and there. We are still under colonial administration when we consider the ingredients of the existing constitution. There is need to restructure the country.”
He urged the Nigerian Police and the DSS to exercise their constitutional mandate of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians and ensure that the youths who issued the quit order are arrested.
He explained that the order is not directed at the Igbo alone but the entire South East, South South and South West residents in the north. ”It is an indirect call for division of the country which our founding fathers and nationalists suffered and died to protect.”
Mr Ekpoudom also faulted the sit-at-home order issued by Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), saying the order also contravened the law, noting that IPOB has no constitutional authority to order a section of the country to sit at home without the consent of the Federal Government. “It amounts to running a parallel government.”
He urged the police authorities and the Department of State Services (DSS) charged with the responsibility of maintaining internal peace and security to brace up to the current challenges threatening the unity of the country.
“Those beating the drums of war have never experienced the pains of war. Most of those making inciting and hate speeches were too young or were not born when we had the Nigerian/Biafra war. It’s unfortunate that those people clamoring for war are being sponsored by people who don’t have value for this country or are having dual citizenship.”
On herdsmen attack, the security chief said herdsmen activities in the country violate the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Maliciously damaging the properties of their fellow Nigerians is a criminal offense. They should be arrested and charged for malicious damage which is punishable under the law.
“To worsen their case, they operate with prohibited fire arms. The police have the right to apprehend them and charge them for unlawful possession of fire arms but they are allowed to move about freely.
“They commit malicious damage and assault, occasioning harm and even killing hundreds of law -abiding citizens, yet they are allowed to walk the streets of this country as if they are operating under a different constitution from the Nigerian constitution.
“The herdsmen are rearing cows as their business in the north while those of us in the south have cassava, yams and other crops as our business. For the herdsmen to direct their cows to feed on other people’s food crops amounts to man’s inhumanity to man”.
Igbo, the only true Nigerians—Prof. Nduka Eya, monarchs too
In his contribution, Prof Eya equally noted that the Igbo settle at different states in the northern part of the country, sweat, struggle, build houses, trade and pay taxes. He described the three months ultimaltum as a joke .
Prof Eya made this known at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka shortly after chairing the home-coming of the alumni of English and Literally Studies Department held at Princess Alexandra auditorum of the University.
‘’To threaten the Igbo to leave the north must not be treated with kids glove. Like the secretary general of Ohanaeze said, I urge the Igbo in the north to go about their normal businesses but they have the right to defend themselves.
”The main Arewa forum should come out to issue statements condemning the youths. I will fight back because if I don’t fight back, you will kill me,” he said.
On IPOB/MASSOB, he said: “The IPOB/MASSOB are asking for sovereign state of Biafra but none of them have asked anybody to leave the east while no section of the country has questioned the quest for Biafra. The Arewa youths are being mentioned as the group that issued the threat but they are not. The main Arewa should be the first to come out and not El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor.”
In a related development, traditional rulers in Enugu have also called for vigilance as they condemned the Arewa youths.
The traditional ruler of Nkpunano community in Nsukka local government area, Enugu state, Igwe Patrick Okolo has described the quit notice as over-heating the polity and threatening the unity of the entire nation, adding that all the royal fathers in Nigeria should join the call to arrest those youths behind the quit notice.
Igwe Okolo said the quit notice was ugly, unpatrotic and an unfortunate development which has threatened the security of the country.
Speaking also, Igwe Oliver Ayogu, the traditional ruler of Okpuje community condemned the quit notice, saying it would have serious retaliatory consequences.
Ayogu urged northern elders to call the youths to order as the country would not engage in crisis of any kind.
“The unity of the country is not negotiable as there is power in cultural diversity. The quit notice to Igbo as well as asking northerners in the east to come back home amounts to beating drums of war.
“Governors, northern elders and stakeholders should sue for dialogue to nip the issue in the bud.
“Nigeria is one and will continue to be one. To me, the threat by Arewa youths is an empty threat which they lack the capacity to implement,“ he said.
FG urged to adhere to Arewa youths’ suggestion on Biafra
But Chief Attanike Possible Paul in his contribution urged the Federal Government to adhere to the call by Arewa youths and allow the Igbo to vacate the north peacefully to avert looming danger of blood bath and regrets.
Chief Attanike Possible Paul diclosed this in an interview with Vanguard shorthly after a town hall meetig of Umuoyo community in Enugu state, adding that the Arewa youths deserved commendation for having the foresight to appeal to the Federal Government to grant Biafran Republic to enable the Igbo at the 19 states of the north vacate in peace.
“The quit notice is no longer a mere threat to the Igbo to vacate the northern parts of the country. The Arewa youths have joined the agitation of Biafra.
”The Federal Government as a matter of urgency and necessity should hasten up for referendum to avert the looming danger in the country,” he said.