Northern Coalition Insists Quit Notice to Igbo Stands

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, a coalition of Northern groups, said in Abuja on Tuesday that it has not vacated the October 1, 2017 quit notice given to Igbo living in the North.
The leader of the coalition, Shettima Yerima, said the group has not lifted the order but was working towards resolving the issue.
He said though the groups in the coalition had held meetings on the ultimatum, they had yet to lift the quit notice.
Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting with former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu and some leaders from the South-East, Yerima however, said the coalition was holding consultations with stakeholders across the country with a view to reviewing its position.
While acknowledging that they had been meetings to douse tension in the country, he said, “I do not also remember specifically saying we are going to finally withdraw the quit notice. No, certainly not. We have not.
“But we said, within the week, we are going to make a statement.”
He, nevertheless, assured Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm as he expressed the coalition’s belief in a united Nigeria.
He said he and his colleagues were concerned about the unity of Nigeria and would not allow it to be threatened.
He added, “It is only those who are blind that will say the unity of this country is not being threatened. But you have prominent Nigerians like him (Kalu) who have shown a lot of worries over this situation.
“To us, we strongly believe that Nigeria is for us and Nigeria belongs to everybody and we are all equal in this project.
“We will not in any way accept anybody who wants to undermine the unity of this country. We want those who want to remain and who believe in the unity of Nigeria to remain.
“But for those who don’t, they are free to go to their Biafra and stay there. For us, we want Nigeria and will remain in Nigeria.”
Yerima said, “We need to do a lot of work, we are in consultations now. We are likely going on consultations in northern region; we will discuss issues before we finally review our position.
“But you can be rest assured that those who believe in Nigeria should remain where they are and be assured of their safety. But to those who don’t believe in Nigeria, we cannot guarantee their safety.
“So, it’s better if you want to do your Biafra, you stay and do your Biafra over there. But if you believe in Nigeria, we intend to work side by side with you to build the nation of our dreams.”
However, Kalu called on Southerners living in the north not to entertain any fear.
He said he would soon meet with the leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, and other Biafran agitators.
Kalu regretted that the agitation for the creation of Biafra had affected the Gross Domestic Product of the South-East, saying neighbouring countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger had stopped patronising the zone.
While noting that the diversity of Nigeria was its strength, the former Governor stressed that all parts of the country were equally important as they contributed in the same way to its well-being.
Kalu said, “Restructuring does not mean breaking the country. There are certain things we have outgrown. We need to address the issue of how our economy should be run so that the masses, the poor people will benefit from efforts of government.”
The coalition, which is made up of 16 different groups from the north.

Author: News Editor

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