By Anthony Ogbonna
Following the 30-days ultimatum issued by a northern group to both the federal government and leaders of Southern Nigeria over the suspension of the controversial Ruga settlement policy earlier proposed by the government, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, has urged Nigerians of Igbo extraction to defend themselves in the face of danger or threat to their lives.
Chief Nwodo who described the threat as “irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst,” also said that the threat “reminds me of the northern youths’ notice to quit the North to southerners two years ago.”
The northern group had, in a statement by its leader, Abdul Azeez Suleman, issued a threat to the FG and southerners to accept the ruga policy or it would be faced to carry out its threat which it did not mention.
But Nwodo, in a statement on Friday, condemned the threat and described the RUGA policy as an Islamisation and a Fulanisation policy, noting that Ohanaeze would resist it.
According to him, “My attention has been drawn to a broadcast by Abdul Azeez Suleman, speaking for a coalition of northern groups in which he had the audacity to give the Federal Government an ultimatum of 30 days to rescind its decision on the suspension of its RUGA settlements policy.
“Abdul went further to threaten the expulsion of southerners resident in the North at the expiration of his ultimatum if the Federal Government does not rescind its suspension decision.
“This irresponsible, unlawful and provocative outburst reminds me of the northern youths’ notice to quit the North to southerners two years ago.”
“The threat to evict law-abiding Nigerians from their places of abode in northern Nigeria is treasonable and obviously like the gun-trotting herdsmen will go unnoticed by our federally-controlled law enforcement agencies.
“Let Abdul, the Federal Government and others like them, take notice that Ohanaeze has no objections to all Igbo in the North returning home so long as all northerners in the South-East would leave the South-East and we dismantle the federal structure imposed on us by the military and return to autonomous federating units.
“The nepotism exhibited by this Federal Government, her duplicity of standards in law enforcement, her undisguised Fulanisation policy is repugnant to the rule of law and good governance. We will no longer tolerate any further threats from these northern warmongers.
“After all, who should be aggrieved under the circumstance? The millipede that has been marched is whimpering, but the person that marched it is complaining that his foot has been soiled.
“The southern Nigerian people that are bearing the yoke of oppression from cattle herders are trying their best to co-exist with their aggressors, yet it is the aggressors that are threatening further mayhem. This cannot be.
“I call on all Igbo to be ready to defend themselves. Enough of these threats!”