Igbos must leave, Nothern youth coalition insist

Despite the nationwide condemnation that trailed their earlier call that the Igbos in Northern Nigeria vacate the region by October 1, 2017, the Northern Youth Coalition on Thursday said they stand by their decision.

It will be recalled that the Kaduna State Gover, Mallam Nasir El Rufai while condemning their call, ordered the immediate arrest and subsequent prosecution of members of the group while Bornu State Governor and Chairman Nothern Governors Forum, Alhaji Kassim Shetima said the opinion of the fringe group does not represent the opinion of the North.

The group in a statement on Thursday signed by one its leaders, Abdulazeez Suleiman, claimed they have received widespread support from across the Country since they issued the ultimatum and accused those they called, “merchants of mischief” of misrepresenting their thoughts.

The statement read, “In strict observance of that tradition we never employ violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications.”

“This informs why, a majority of discerning Nigerians, not necessarily northerners alone, understood and identified with our express call for the Biafrans to be allowed to actualise their long-held secessionist aspiration.

“We restate that we have never called anybody to violence and that people should discountenance the elements of fear and threat introduced by the distortions of merchants of mischief.

“We wholeheartedly endorse the moves made variously by our leaders to allay those fears and urge people to be peaceful and law-abiding while at the same time resolutely insisting on having the right thing done by allowing the Igbo to have and move to their dream country in accordance with the universal fundamental right to self-determination.

“We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.:

The groups called on the federal government and international organisation to facilitate a referendum that would quicken the exit of the Igbo.

“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU, and UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation.”

“Despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, we make bold to say that the cheerful responses to our position which flowed through the internet and by way of personal telephone conversations nationally and universally has resonated that peace-loving Nigerians who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbos are overwhelmingly desirous to put an end to it.

“As we acknowledge this outpouring of patriotic support across the nation, we implore people, particularly our cultured northerners to remain restraint in the face of any provocation from any quarter and to debate intelligently.

“We assure them that we shall be firm and resolute in honestly and painstakingly pursuing what we all know is a noble and just cause without hurting anyone.”