Why We Withdrew Quit Notice Threat Against Igbos- Arewa Youths

The Coalition of Northern Groups on Thursday said it withdrew the quit notice given to Igbos living in the northern part of the country because of fruitful discussion with well meaning Nigerians and mutual respect for the unity of the country.
Addressing a news conference attended by Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, former Kano State governor, Kabiru Gaya, former Minister of Agriculture, Sani Zango Daura and some Igbo leaders across the north, the Spokesman of the Coalition, Abdulaziz Suleiman, said they decided to withdraw the quit notice because of their interest in a one united and peaceful Nigeria.
The coalition had on June 7 issued a three months ultimatum for all Igbos in the 19 northern states to vacate the region.
The coalition had threatened that if the Igbos failed to leave by the October 1, 2017, the group said, it would use force to evict them.
The group also threatened to take over all the landed properties of the Igbos after they had left the region.
However, Thursday, the group advanced reasons for withdrawing the threat.
Suleiman said: “Mindful of the concerns generated by the clause in the Kaduna Declaration that advised the Biafran Igbo to relocate from Northern Nigeria and for northerners in the South-East to do likewise, and our commitment to the unity of our dear country, we immediately opened channels for dialogue and interaction with government agencies, national and international groups, institutions and figures.
“Admittedly, we came under intense pressure from genuinely concerned national, political, traditional, religious and cultural leaders prominent among which were a section of the Northern Governors’ Forum under its Chairman, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, northern traditional rulers and the Directorate of State Security (DSS).
“We also had several fruitful interactions with various concerned individuals and groups. Most significant was our correspondence with the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and most recently our interface with the Presidency through the Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters.
“As a consequence of these vigorous engagements and as cultured people with a tradition of respect for our national values, leaders and elders, we are today (Thursday) pleased to announce the immediate suspension of the relocation clause otherwise referred to as the quit notice from the Kaduna Declaration.
“This suspension we are proud to say, is also out of respect for and in reaffirmation of our allegiance to one united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria and in our unshaken confidence in the political will and sincere commitment of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari to take a holistic look at all the concerns we raised.
“We are also pleased to announce here that the Kaduna Declaration has achieved most of its major objectives, chief among which include forcing the hitherto deliberately neglected dangerous Biafran issue to the front burner of the nation’s discussion agenda.
“In the meantime, we shall firmly pursue our petitions to the United Nations and the Nigerian federal authorities calling for the appropriate sanction of Nnamdi Kanu, other IPOB leaders and their sponsors in addition to labeling them a terror outfit.”
The group urged the Federal Government to allow and support the Igbo to hold a referendum on secession.
It said: “Taking all other issues raised in the Kaduna Declaration over the past few months, vis a vis the effort by various government and non-governmental bodies to engage us in dialogue, we submit that there is the need to look at the following issues holistically as safeguards against future ethnic tensions:
“Allow the Igbo and support them to hold a referendum to decide their future either as Nigerians or as Biafrans in view of the fact that the population of the Igbo that supports Biafra is far larger than the few who appear to be against it. Failure to do that will only douse this tension temporarily while they regroup to prepare for the war, they have always craved and openly called for. We are opposed to war with any part of this country and we are opposed to any situation that will lead to war.
“One of the key reasons why Biafra should be allowed to hold a referendum is because the principle of self-determination has, since World War 11, become a part of the United Nations Charter, which states in Article 1 (2), that one of the purposes of the UN is ‘to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people.’
“And by virtue of Nigeria being a signatory to the various international conventions that entrench the right of a people to self determination; we submit that it is only proper for Nigerian authorities to reflect that right in the ongoing constitution review or in the alternative, rescind its endorsement of the said conventions.
“If for any reason a referendum cannot be held for the moment, we insist the Igbo both in the Southeast and in other parts of Nigeria including all elected and other office holders be made to discard totally any idea of Biafra and to show practical actions to prove that they believe in one Nigeria.
“Relevant law enforcement agencies, should carry out a careful, lawful and purposive search of all suspected premises in the north in which IPOB sympathizers might be amassing arms. This is necessary because since the declaration of war by IPOB, there had been cases of interception of caches of arms concealed and smuggled into some parts of northern Nigeria. Let it be known, that it is illogical to wait in this obvious and clear state of danger until the secessionist unleashes terror on innocent people and communities. By extension all unlicensed arms and ammunition should be mopped up by the authorities. And if there is a counter suspicion of northerners in the East amassing arms, they should also be searched and confiscated.
The coalition asked the Federal Government to “come up with clear laws on hate speech, which should remain in place to contain other individuals or groups whose way of agitation is to engage in hate speech capable of disrupting peace and harmony”.

Author: News Editor

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