From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu, Geoffrey
Anyanwu, Awka, Ndubuisi Orji,
Magnus Eze, Abuja and Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Afenifere described the action of the youths as tragic.
Spokesperson for the group, Yinka Odumakin, called on the elders in the north to call them to order.
“Carrying out their threats would be a prelude to another pogrom. These elements have over the years showed their propensity to attack people, but like the Chinua Achebe said, they are holding a knife to the tiny rope that still holds the country together. I hope that if they still have elders, their elders should call them to order, otherwise, it may be the beginning of the end of Nigeria, as we know it.
“They should know that in 1967, they had a coalition to fight the Igbo but that coalition is no more there today. We know the people that fought the last war and won it. I can boldly speak for the Yoruba nation, that if the north thinks they can declare another war against the Igbo, it would not work. If they see any Yoruba man joining them to fight the Igbo, then that person must be a mercenary.
“The Igbo were not fighting, neither were they causing any crisis, but were just trying to make their grievances known in a peaceful manner. Why should they be threatened? For northerners to tell them to leave the north is sad for the polity.”
National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Okey Nwosu, described the ultimatum as a threat to the unity of the country.
Nwosu in a telephone interview said President Muhammadu Buhari through his actions and inactions orchestrated such ultimatum.
“When some elders led by President Buhari were doing certain things, some of us cautioned. Let the APC and Buhari deal with what they have caused, “ he stated
For the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) Ndigbo should not wait for the three-month before leaving the region.
According to MASSOB leader, Comrade 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 urge 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.”
Founder, Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko said Ndigbo were not scared by the quit order
“The statement from a hitherto unknown northern group is primed to deliver a message to the whole world that some people prefer bloodshed to peaceful restructuring of Nigeria.
“The non-existent group merely represents an attempt by the sectional security apparatchiks to intimidate the struggle to reconstruct Nigeria, in their blind and unintelligent attempt to sustain the clearly unworkable status quo.
“If they were serious, they would have addressed the FG to grant Biafra freedom to seccede, but they are childishly targeting Igbo property in the North, without advancing total complete split of the country.
“Igbo property in the North have always been used to blackmailing our people, while the mindless oppression continues. We therefore plead with this unknown group to write to the National Assembly, northern leaders and the United Nations, to as a matter of urgency, grant a referendum on the future of Nigeria. That way, everybody will take them serious.
“Targeting our properties in the North do not frighten anybody, we are used to that. We beg them to amend their childish statement to demand for an early referendum. That would make more sense. Our people are living in hell already. We are not scared of war mongering, Referendum is the way to go.”
However, former vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Fidelis Edeh flayed the ultimatum, which he said was a violation of the nation’s constitution.
“How can the northern youths wake up and begin to threaten citizens whose rights are guaranteed in the constitution? This threat should not be dismissed. People may talk about the Biafra agitation, but it is not against the Nigerian state because it’s in line with the international charter, the African Charter and even to an extent the Nigerian constitution. This must be nipped in the bud before innocent people are killed mindlessly,” Edeh warned.
For Onitsha-based rights activist, Emeka Umeagbala, it is a pointer that Nigeria was still a mere geographical expression.
The legal practitioner, who noted that Ndigbo had suffered numerous pogroms in Nigeria, starting from 1945 called for the restructuring of the country in a peaceful manner, before it goes the way of Rwanda.