Igbo quit notice : Groups want Ango Abdullahi arrested
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As the call by some Arewa youths on Igbo residing in the North to quit the region by October 1, 2017 continues to elicit mixed reactions, some individuals and groups have called on the Federal Government to exert strong sanctions on the instigators.
This is just as a major disagreement is said to have emerged among the northern youths in Kaduna over the ejection order, as some of the youths have come out to dissociate themselves from the ultimatum.
However, former Kaduna State Deputy Governor and Interim President of Jam’irar Matan Arewa (JMA), Dr. Pamela Sadauki, has appealed to the youths and other aggrieved elders in the region to bury their hatchets, and withdraw the threat against the Igbo.
Sadauki said, “given the unfortunate situation that we have found ourselves today, as mothers, wives and sisters, we call for a stakeholders forum with the sincerity of purpose that would address this very unfortunate situation”.Also, in a statement, the Arewa Youth for Progress and Development (AYPD) described the quit notice as reckless and baseless, saying the so-called Coalition of Northern Youths were hallucinating.
The President of AYPD, Comrade Danjuma Bello Sarki, while condemning the order stated: “We want to use this medium to strongly disassociate ourselves from this misguided position and vehemently condemn it in strong terms.”
AYPD disclosed that those behind the notice were out to cause disaffection between the North and the South for their selfish interests, adding, “We want to categorically state that their statement has caused great embarrassment to us as patriotic northern youths.
“There was no time the youths in the North sat down to agree on such a position. We call on all Ndigbo to disregard that statement, remain calm and continue to go about their normal activities without fear of being harassed or intimidated, for we cherish our relationship with all other components of our nation.”
On its part, the leaderships of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), and Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organisations (SBCHROs), have condemned the “conspiratorial incitement to genocide and utterances of the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, retired Prof. Ango Abdullahi.
The statement was signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi and representatives of SBCHROs, including Aloysius Attah, (Civil Liberties Organisation, Southeast Zone), Peter Onyegiri, (Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy), Samuel Njoku, (Human Rights Organisation of Nigeria) among others.
The rights groups said it is “sad and unfortunate that while retired professors remain a great asset to their countries after their active professorial service or retirement by setting up think tank or research centers, retired Nigerian professors like retired Professor Ango Abdullahi have not only chosen the opposite, but descended to the level of professorial senility.”
Intersociety noted that Abdullahi’s utterances constitute a fundamental and clear evidence of the rot that has befallen some retired professors in the country, even as it wondered why authorities of the DSS, Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigerian Army have looked the other way.Another group that wants Abdullahi, a former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, is Centrum Initiative For Development And Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA).
In an open letter to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, its chairman, Dr. John Danfulani, challenged the governor to live up to his earlier pledge to arrest all the Northern Youths Coalition members and their accomplices for the infamous Kaduna declaration.Danfulani reminded the governor that, “On Wednesday June 7, 2017, you repudiated and nullified their ultimatum issued on June 6, 2017 and directed security agencies to trail, nab and prosecute them for using Kaduna State as an assembly plant and launching pad of their felonious project.”
“Your position was fully supported by other northern governors. A day after your rebuttal, arrests, and prosecute directive, the miscreants and apostles of doom resurfaced and reinforced their June 6, 2017 position. And unabashedly lambasted you and your colleagues…”
He therefore urged the governor to include Prof Abdullahi in the list of those to face arrest and prosecution, stressing that “after reading your (governor’s) resolve of June 7, 2017 we wrote a commendation letter to you and encouraged you to walk your talk to deter others nursing the ambition of hatching events that will trigger another civil war in Nigeria.”
On its part, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) also called on the police and other security agencies to ensure the arrest of northern youth leaders for the threat against the Igbo.
IPCR insists that the police must be proactive in tracking down and bringing to book all perpetrators of incendiary statements in accordance with the provision of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, in Abuja, Director General of IPCR, Prof. Oshita Oshita, warned that no part of the country should threaten its corporate existence as done by the northern youth groups.He said: “While noting the reactions of the police and other security agencies thus far, IPCR would like to urge them to be more proactive in tracking and bringing to book all perpetrators of incendiary statements, in accordance with the provision of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He explained that the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria recognises the rights of every citizen to live, work and conduct business freely in any part of the federation, noting that Nigeria is a heterogeneous state and therefore, the expression of differences is not unusual in the context of multicultural and multi religious social relations.
But in a stark contrast, the leadership and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), yesterday, expressed gratitude to the Arewa Elders Forum (AEF), Arewa Youths and Arewa Consultative Forum “for seeing sense in what IPOB has been saying about the need for a referendum to be conducted in Nigeria.”
While maintaining that a referendum was necessary to “decide the fate of the component ethnic nationalities lumped together by the British in 1914,” IPOB said “Biafrans in general wish to thank these vocal northerners for at least, having the courtesy to issue advance warning this time before embarking on their routine massacre of Igbo and other Biafrans living in northern Nigeria.”
In a statement by its media and publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, the group said the notice was “unlike what their fathers did in 1966 when death, destruction and mayhem were unleashed on unsuspecting innocent civilian population from the South.”
IPOB noted that it is abundantly evident from the genocidal statements coming from certain influential segments of the North that the British socio-political experimentation and economic fraud known as Nigeria should not have been created in the first place.
The group added: “We promise to adhere to your warning to leave northern Nigeria because a word is enough for the wise. Biafrans and other southerners should start packing their property to come down to the South.
“We also advice the northern youths and their elders to keep it on because all they have done is exercise their right to free speech, which is not a crime under any law known to man. We are therefore against those calling for the arrest of these Arewa youths and their elders.”