Prof. Ango Abdullahi, the spokesman for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has justified the Igbo eviction notice issued by a coalition of northern youths to the easterners residing in the region.
During a telephone conversation with The Guardian, Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said that the Igbo eviction notice by the northern youths was in reaction to the unpalatable behaviour of their guests.
He said the northern youths were venting their anger and frustration over what he described as the irresponsible behaviour of Igbo youths and elders.
Prof. Ango said:
“The northern youths are voicing out their anger and frustration over the irresponsible behaviour of Igbo youths and elders. The Igbo elders cannot pretend or say that they do not know the history of this country.
“We all know how the first coup was hatched against the north. We know who masterminded that political coup and the aftermath.
“But we the northerners endured it and carried on as if nothing happened in the spirit of brotherhood. That was why in the Second Republic, an Igbo man, Chief Alex Ekwueme, became a deputy to President Shehu Shagari.
“I have never seen a country where there was a civil war and somebody from the part of the country that waged the war against the nation became a leader in the country so quickly.
“The Igbo should remember that politics of democracy is politics of election, not agitation.”
According to the northern elder, the arrogant and irresponsible actions of Igbo leaders and youths should stop immediately.
Meanwhile, the coalition of northern youths has insisted on their Igbos-must-go declaration.
It called on both Nigerian and international authorities to ‘do the right thing’ and hasten the process of helping the Igbos actualize the Biafran nation.
In a joint statement on Thursday, June 8, the coalition condemned the reaction of the Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai and his Borno State counterpart, Alhaji Kashim Shettima over the eviction notice issued to Igbos resident in the north.
The statement signed by the coalition’s spokesman, Abdulazeez Suleiman said the group was compelled to make a further statement to clarify their stand on some issues that trailed the Kaduna Declaration.
“We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the north will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation”, the statement partly read.
Reactions to the Igbo Eviction Notice
Understandably, the eviction notice has led to quite a number of reactions besides those of the Northern Elders Forum. Depending on what part of the country a person comes from, the views about the ultimatum differ. Below are a few of them that have come to light.
The Foundation for Human Rights And Anti-Corruption Crusade said in a statement signed by Mr Alaowei Cleric, its National President that the Northern youths were pushing the agenda of Biafra and encouraging the Igbo people “to disembark from Nigeria other than the unity we are supposed to be preaching.” They advised the Northern youths to channel any contending issues they might have to the Federal Government because the problem lies in the refusal of the Federal Government to restructure the country.
A Biafra War veteran, Col. Joe Achuzia (Rtd) cautioned against taking the ultimatum for granted on the ground that the youths meant business as the ultimatum is the first step in trying to execute a resolution reached in 1989. The alleged resolution was said to have been made on November 28, 1989, in London where it was agreed to Islamise the African continent with Nigeria as the hub.
The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) has also warned the Federal Government not to dismiss the quit notice as a mere threat. The group consisting of 10 human rights groups, all domiciled in the Southeast said this in a press statement jointly signed and made available to journalists, which they titled: “Northern Youths’ Genocidal Threat: Avoiding The Repetition Of 1966 Anti Igbo Pogrom In Northern Nigeria And 1994 Rwandan Genocide”.