Igbo leaders of thought from 19 northern states and Abuja met in Kano on Friday with their counterparts of Northern groups to review the contentious issue of agitation which led to issuance of quit notice to Igbo by a coalition of northern youth groups.
The meeting which was attended by Arewa Youths consultative forum led by Mr. Shettima Yerima and their members as well as coalition of Northern groups led by Mr. Nastura Ashiru Sheriff was held at Chinese Dragon Restaurant, Kano.
Eze Ndigbo of Minna, Niger State, Igwe Ngozi Nwaiwe in his remarks stated that the level of cohesion and union among the segments that constitute Nigeria made it indivisible.
According to him, majority of Ndi Igbo residing in the North had economic, marital and social relationship with their host.
He said it was amazing for a group to now ask Ndi Igbo to desert their hard earned achievement and leave to where he asked.
“We only travel back home during festival, marriage and burial ceremonies, we are at home here in the North, some of us have spent over 45 years, we have inter-married, we are going nowhere,” he said.
The session culminated into the formation of a 10-man committee with the mandate to produce an acceptable position on the quit notice issued in a declaration in Kaduna by Arewa Youths Consultative Forum.
Five persons were selected from amongst Northern Igbo leaders, while equal number was selected from the Coalition of Northern groups.
Members of the committee are, Eze Ndi-Igbo Kano, Boniface Ibekwe; Chief Chi Nwogu, Mr. Chris Nnoli; Igwe Ngozi Nwaiwe and Mr. Magnus Ihejirika, representing the Igbo.
Those representing the Coalition of Northern Groups are Mr. Abdullahi Utoro; Dr. Abba Bukar; Dauda Shamakari and Ado Mohammed.
The facilitator of the parley session between the coalition and Northern Igbo leaders, comrade Isa Tijjani disclosed that the committee was mandated to finalise the assigned duty in 72 hours and issue a roadmap towards addressing the quit notice issued in the Kaduna declaration.
Speaking also, the President of Eze Ndi Igbo in diaspora, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe said the Igbo ethnic group were apostles of peace
He said peaceful co-existence was beneficial to the development of Nigeria as a nation.
“I and majority of our people are Igbo people of Northern extraction, you are asking us to go, where do you want us to go to, who among us here is an IPOB member,” he queried.
Leader of the Northern Coalition Group (CNG) Mr. Shettima Yerima faulted the Igbo leaders for keeping mute since the IPOB agitation clamouring for the creation of the state of Biafra started.
He lamented that IPOB leadership continuously rained abuses on Northern elders and proceed to insult the intelligence of Northerners and that despite all those charade, Igbo leaders maintained silence, failing to caution those responsible with the aim to halt their continuous call for war and uttering of hate speeches by the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Earlier in his submission, Yarima lamented what led to their quit notice was the violent agitation by the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, insisting that he was not called to order by the Igbo elders.
“Though we had a meeting with the Ohaneze Youth Council in Kaduna, who dissociated themselves from Nnamdi Kanu, and we got all sorts of condemnation from the South East. So we couldn’t understand what was really happening,” Yarima said.
Our correspondent observed that heated debate ensued between the groups before an agreement was reached for raising a Committee.