Igbo must remain in north, insists Ganduje
Despite the October 1 quit notice given to Igbos by the Coalition of Northern Youths, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje yesterday insisted that the Igbo community remain an integral part of the north.
Besides, Ganduje reiterated the fact that northern leaders, including the political and traditional institutions in the region are against all forms of ethnic prejudice, as promoted by some Northern youths.
Ganduje spoke when he received leaders of the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA) who were in Kano to meet the youths, in respect of the quit notice, led by the President-General, Chief Chi Nwogu, at the government house.
According to the governor, “Even if you want to go on your own, we will not allow you to leave. There is a difference between I will not go and there is no where I can go. You don’t have anywhere to go, this place is your home.
“If foreigners can reside comfortably in Kano and other parts of northern Nigeria and engaged in legitimate ventures, why not you. So, we want to let you know that there is no basis to threaten other Nigerians, who collectively fought for the nation’s independence. Those advocating ethnic agitation from the east are not speaking for all Igbos. Those of us, who as youth witnessed the Civil war, will never advocate secession,” Ganduje explained.
He said that the northern youths who issued the quit notice, have also been called to order by the elders, including governors and the Sultan of Sokoto, because all well meaning people believe in one Nigeria.
“When you have youths who have no elders, they are similar to riding a horse without a bridle. It can behave anyhow and anything can happen. This is what is happening,” he maintained.
He described the reconciliatory meeting as timely, asserting that all ethnic groups in the country have advantages, which if collectively harnessed would make the country greater.
“Both of us have agreed to set up a committee to sort out things and ensure that there is peace,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, a renowned retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Francis Tabai, has called on Ijaw leaders to champion the call for restructuring, as it was in the best interest of the Ijaw people and other federating units.
Tabai, during his 75th birthday ceremony organized by the Ijaw Lawyers Forum, in Yenagoa, expressed disappointment that Ijaws leaders are not speaking up enough in the calls for restructuring as other ethnic nationalities.
He said restructuring would guarantee justice and peace in the country. He maintained that the Constitution had concentrated so much power at the centre, emphasizing that power should be devolved to give the component units greater power to determine and control themselves and their resources.
In his words: “We should be able to get greater control of our resources but our present constitution is such that we do not have proper access to our resources and it is not good for us. In the interest of justice and peace, there should be restructuring so that we can have greater control of our resources, Nigeria is a great country and we also a part and component unit of this nation, but every component should be able to control their resources and contribute something to the centre.’’