National Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie has noted that Nigeria is on the brink following the quit notice issued on Igbos by northern youths and backed by some elders of the region.
Okorie noted that there are many harmful things the Igbo youths would have thought of doing but never did.
According to him, Igbo people never threatened to disconnect the national grid and the power supply to the North.
He also said Igbo youths never threatened to cut off the pipelines that supply petroleum products to the Northern part of the country.
Speaking with journalists, the statesman noted that Igbo youths have never applied violence, or threatened to force northerners out of the South, and wondered why the northern youths should go that length.
He said, “We cannot accept the order on the face value because the roots to it had earlier been given by Northern elders like Junaid Mohammed, Professor Ango Abdullahi just to mention a few of them.
“Their views have been pointing to the fact that they were stoking the fire of discord in Nigeria.
“I could not rule out the fact that Mohammed, Abdullahi and others working behind encouraged their youths to embark on this very irresponsible line of action.
“There is no doubt that the youths from the South East, the Igbo nation are far more frustrated than some of us because they are the younger ones who we do not have any explanations to make as to why our situation is this deplorable.
“And out of the frustration in all parts of Nigeria, they have decided to go on demonstrations but have maintained a civilised system of non-violence.
“So, if they feel sufficiently provoked by the agitation of Igbo youths, they can embark on their own civil agitation without threatening anybody.
“The Igbo youth never threatened to force the North out of the South and they never threatened to cut off the pipelines that supply petroleum products to the Northern part of the country.
“The Igbo people never threatened to disconnect the so called national grid and the power supply to the North. All these are options but the Igbo people never went to that direction.
“They are only asking that they be allowed to opt out because they feel that they have been alienated and shortchanged in every aspect of governance.
“And so for the North to respond to that by threatening violence and even giving a date for the Igbo people to leave the North is most irresponsible and ill-advised.
“I am saying this because I am aware that Igbo people have been living in Gusau for instance for over 400 years as we speak.
“So, what are we talking about a settler and non-indigene. Is it the person who has been living there 400 years before you came or the people that just came there?
“As we speak, there are more than three million people living in Kano and they have over N43 trillion investments in the North.
“It is not the type of thing you just wake up one day and say you should pack and go home. If you want to divide Nigeria, you can separate without shedding blood. These are things that are happening all over the world.
“The idea of confiscation of people’s property is primitive and many countries who have parted ways, the people who had invested would not have to carry their investments from one point to another.
“They can operate from anywhere. The youth of the North who are making these threats did not sit down to look at the disadvantage that would come to them. Look at the backlash.
“The Southern Kaduna people say they are not part of it. The Middle Belt people say they would stay with the Igbo. The Oduduwa people say this is the beginning of their realisation of the Oduduwa Republic.
“The Niger Delta people say this will be an opportunity for them to now have their own Republic. So, where does that leave the Hausa/Fulani people?
“They are not looking at the Nigeria of today. They think they are in Nigeria of 1967. I think as an elder statesman, my option would be that we restructure this country and make Nigeria the pride of everybody.
“So, the threat by the Arewa youths is an ill wind that would not blow anybody any good especially those who are threatening. They are not in the right position to threaten anybody.”