By Idowu Bankole
The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has accused southern elites and governments of sponsoring Nnamdi Kanu and arming Sunday Igboho to perpetrate violence against the north and Northern interest in the south.
The Northern Coalition praised the arrest of both secessionist agitators urging the federal government to dig deeper to expose sponsors of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
The coalition warns that the arrest will not be the end of uprising and disturbances in southern Nigeria which it accused the Yoruba leaders including their governments as using to scare the North into agreeing to cede power without competition.
The Northern Coalition stated this in a statement on Tuesday signed by Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, spokesperson of the CNG.
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said, “from the outset, we wish to be categoric that the arrest of Igboho and Kanu should not be mistaken as bringing about the end to the uprisings and disturbances over self-determination perpetrated by southern Nigerian elites and governments who use thugs like Igboho and Kanu.”
“We insist that rather than seeing the arrest as an end in itself, it should be the beginning of the processes for self-determination by any unit that wants to go. Therefore we insist on a peaceful referendum for separation from a people who would at the slightest of pretexts, attack, kill and destroy people of other regions and their properties especially those from the North.” He said.
The statement suggested Igboho would likely be charged with incitement against the North which the coalition claims are in tandem with international law. It noted that only the North has not called for secession from Nigeria at the slightest provocation.
“The arrest of Igboho is government business and so long as it conforms with the principle of rule of law and international criminal justice procedures. We are not yet sure what he is going to be charged with, but expectedly incitement to violence against northerners would be one of them.
We all know that threats of violent secession anywhere are a grave offence that no government will condone. From records of history, it is only northern Nigeria that has not called for the breakup of the country at the slightest of pretence.”
“With the arrest of Kanu and now Igboho, we are hoping that government would go beyond prosecution to digging up and exposing their sponsors and the agenda behind them.”
The Coalition claims that Kanu’s call for the Biafra nation has been exploited by the Eastern elites to play a double political game while noting that Igboho’s case is encouraged by Yoruba leaders to negotiate power from the North.
“While Kanu’s case may be attributed to some form of insanity which was exploited by the South East elites who were playing a double game, Igboho is a deliberate and calculated, supported and encouraged attempt by the Yoruba leaders including their governments to scare the North into agreeing to cede power without competition.” He said.
“Unfortunately they took it too far by arming Igboho and setting him against law-abiding citizens from other regions particularly the North.” He noted.
The coalition warns Kanu and Igboho supporters to avoid being instigated by those who it claimed to have what to fall back on when the country is on fire.
“The arrest if considered along with that of Kanu should serve as a lesson to those blind followers who are instigated into setting fire to their own backyards whereas the instigators of such lawlessness and violence almost all the time have a fallback option that includes escaping abroad.
The two arrests also attest to the level of cross-regional cooperation that is working across Africa,” The statement reads.