…..We are not afraid of war- Igbo group
By Ayo Fadimu
Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to a statement issuing a three-month ultimatum to all Igbos to leave northern Nigeria.
The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday also assured residents in the state of “their freedom to reside where they choose”, adding that the “constitutional right of every Nigerian to own property, move freely and to live in peace and harmony is sacrosanct”.
A coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, had on Tuesday, gave all Igbos resident in the 19 states of the North a three-month ultimatum to quit or be forced out after the expiration of the October 1, 2017, deadline.
The group also asked Northerners in the South-East to get prepared to come back home.
The group’s grievance had been over the success of a recent sit-at-home order enforced by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra on May 30, 2017 which the five South-East states complied with.
The group said further “ The cruel Igbos have done and are doing more damage to our collective nationhood than any other ethnic group; being responsible for the first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorship.. The Igbos similarly orchestrated the first, and so far, the only civil war in Nigeria that consumed millions of lives and sowed the seed of the current mutual suspicion and distrust.
The Igbos are also responsible for Nigeria’s cultural and moral degeneracy with their notorious involvement in all kinds of crimes, including international networking for drug and human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings, high-profile prostitution and advanced financial fraud.
At the peak of the devastating Boko Haram violence in some parts of the North, available records show that the Igbo people have variously been apprehended while attempting to convey catches of dangerous arms and ammunition to the troubled regions.. There are today sufficient reasons to suspect that some Igbos masquerade as Fulani herdsmen to commit violent atrocities across the country in order to cause and spread ethnic disaffection.
It is also on record that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation, the Igbos have shown and maintained open contempt and resentment for the collective decision expressed by majority of Nigerians at various stages via generallyacceptable democratic processes” the group alleged.
In the meantime, a group in the South East, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), has said that Ndigbo are not afraid of war, in a reply it gave to an eviction threat by a northern youth group ordering all Igbos to leave the north in three months or face physical attacks.
A statement allegedly issued by the Eastern groups founder, Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko described the eviction order by the Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY)as “childish,” stressing that people of the South East are not afraid of war.
Evangelis Ugochukwu noted that rather than issue such threat, the group should write to the National Assembly and other world body to “urgently” conduct referendum so as to secure the future of the country.
“The statement from a hitherto unknown northern group is primed to deliver a message to the whole world that some people prefer bloodshed to peaceful restructuring of Nigeria.
“The non-existent group merely represents an attempt by the sectional security apparatchiks to intimidate the struggle to reconstruct Nigeria, in their blind and unintelligent attempt to sustain the clearly unworkable status quo.
“If they were serious, they would have addressed the Federal Government to grant Biafra freedom to secede, but they are childishly targeting Igbo property in the North, without advancing total complete split of the country.
“Igbo property in the North have always been used to blackmail our people, while the mindless oppression continues.
We therefore plead with this unknown group to write to the National Assembly, northern leaders and the United Nations, to as a matter of urgency, grant a referendum on the future of Nigeria. That way, everybody will take them serious.
“Targeting our properties in the North do not frighten anybody, we are used to that. We beg them to amend their childish statement to demand for an early referendum. That would make more sense. Our people are living in hell already. We are not scared of war mongering, Referendum is the way to go.