The socio-political Igbo group, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has urged Igbos leaving in the North to relocate only if they feel their lives are not safe anymore.
However, another pan-Igbo group, MASSOB, asked Igbos to commence relocation from Northern Nigeria immediately.
The groups were reacting to the three months ultimatum issued by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, ACYF, a coalition of socio-political groups in northern Nigeria, to all Igbos in the 19 northern states to vacate the region.
The federal government and the Kaduna State government have since condemned the call, assuring of maximum security while Governor Nasir El-Rufai called for the arrest of the sponsors of the Arewa forum.
In his reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze, Uche Achi-Okpaga, in a statement in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, urged Igbos in the south-east to continue living in peace with everyone.
“At any rate, two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said. “We encourage our sons and daughters to accept every Nigerian and even a foreigner living legally and lawfully in the South-East. We also advise our people living in the North to relocate if your life has been so crystally threatened. It has no spare either”.
The Igbo group blamed President Muhamadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress for the ultimatum alleging that the AYCF was just following in the footsteps of the president and the party, who have allegedly shown disdain and hatred for the Igbos.
“In Ohaneze, we are not surprised about the ultimatum because “Actions repeated long enough become automatic. The people of the North have copied the deliberate and conspicuous body language of the government. The President didn’t mince words on inception of power when he told the world that he does not place much premium the people that gave him five per cent vote. What has this government not done to the South East since then”.
Mr. Achi-Okpaga alleged that the south-east has been marginalised in appointments and provision of amenities.
“Appointment wise, apart from the statutory (at least) one ministerial slot per state, what else has the South East. Even the little positions they occupy, they are tactfully removed and replaced. Chief Elias Mbam was reappointed the Chairman of National Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation & Fiscal Commission since August last year by the President but his name was never sent to the Senate for confirmation. Instead, a northerner has been acting as the Commission’s Chairman”.
“The PENCOM’s head was removed and quickly replaced by a Southern Westerner and ally of the Acting President. You can see that be it under Buhari or Osinbajo, the APC government’s body language remains the same”.
“This is a Federal Government that is said to be encouraging agriculture but the farmlands have been pulverized, women raped and innocent Nigerians killed in hundreds by criminals masquerading as herdsmen and there is no solution”.
“The Northern Governors had stated that the criminals are not Nigerians. The question is, does it mean that the government is allowing foreigners to come in and kill Nigerians? So, the body language has inflicted the Northerners so that they are now thinking that anything is right to say or do”.
“This present government is voraciously infested by ethnic chauvinism so that the Country has become more divided than united. I sincerely pity South-Eastern politicians who are cross carpeting to the APC, except you have a financial skeleton in your cupboard and looking for shield from the EFCC and other agencies in which case one would bear with you”.
In its reaction, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, urged Igbos not to wait for the three-months before leaving the region.
According to MASSOB Leader, Uche Madu, the quit notice did not come as a “surprise.
“MASSOB is aware that such rascality will happen. As a matter of fact, this is the only rascality exhibited by sponsored Arewa youths to forcefully exit the people of Biafra residing in Arewa land that MASSOB will 100 per cent support. Their Boko Haram tactics didn’t work as planned. We pledge our total support towards this divinely approved quit notice”.
“MASSOB congratulates the Arewa political, religious, traditional and opinion leaders who sponsored their youths wing by using Arewa House in Kaduna for this greatest meeting of a coalition of Islamic fundamentalist”.
“As there is no other alternative to stop Biafra freedom, the northern leaders have resorted to using their youths wing to start terrorising the people of Biafra living in the northern region. What they saw during the sit-at-home exercise to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of Biafra declaration by General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu marvelled them irrespective of the promises made to them by their stooges in Biafra land.
“MASSOB urges our people to start returning home now. Don’t wait till the three months for quit notice to expire. MASSOB is begging our people to re-invest their investments back to Biafra land.”
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