A northern group, the Arewa Youth for Progress and Development, has issued a statement condemning the threat issued by a coalition of Northern youth groups, asking all Nigerians of Igbo extraction to vacate the northern part of the country or face “visible actions”.
Danjuma Bello Sarki, the president of the Arewa Youth for Progress and Development, e-mailed the statement to The Trent on Thursday, June 8, 2017, titled, The Kaduna Declaration: The Height of Exuberant Rascality.
Sarkin maintained that the “real Northern youth are peace-loving as he condemned the group which issued a quit notice to Igbos in the North saying they must vacate the region by October 1, 2017.
“The attention of our peace loving association, the Arewa Youth for Progress and Development, has been drawn to a reckless and baseless press statement by a so called Coalition of Northern Youths, where they threatened all people of Igbo extraction to leave the North within the next 3 months,” the statement said.
“We want to use this medium to strongly disassociate ourselves from this misguided position and vehemently condemn it in strong terms. It is no doubt the figment of the imagination of the signatories and their sponsors.
“The call is nothing but the height of exuberant rascality by some publicity seeking fellows, who are out to cause disaffection between the North and the South for their selfish interest, at a time like this when we as youths need to stay united and peaceful for the progress and development of our nation.
“We want to categorically state that, their statement has caused great embarrassment to us as patriotic northern youths, that was not and will never be the position of the Northern youths. Their was know time the youths in the north sat down to agree on such position.
“The true northern youths are peaceful, hospitable, accommodating and tolerant, therefore would not issue such irresponsible vituperation against our dear Igbo brothers or any other tribe who have been contributing immensely to the growth and development of northern Nigeria, economically and otherwise since before independence.
“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.
“More so, we urge our northern brothers who resides in the eastern part of our country to do same. Our believe in one Nigeria is unshakable and firm.
“Even foreigners who are legally resident and law abiding in the north can not be so threatened, talk less of our own brothers of Igbo extraction with whom we have so interrelated through marriages and other socio-economic activities,” the statement ended.
Leave The North By October 1 – Arewa Groups Warn Igbos
A coalition of prominent groups in Northern Nigeria on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 issued an ultimatum to Igbos living in the north to return home by October 1, 2017 or else they will face a situation similar to the pre-civil war pogroms visited on their kin in the 1960s.
The order was contained in an error-ridden statement, obtained by The Trent, issued after a meeting in Kaduna State. The groups, Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum, and the Northern Emancipation Network, asked the Igbo residing in the region to “start making plans to leave.”
The chilling statement condemned the renewed call for the independent republic of Biafra and also expressed disdain for the Igbos and their culture saying that “the Igbo people of the South-East, not repentant of the carnage it wrought on the nation in 1966, is today boldly reliving those sinister intentions connoted by the Biafran agitation that led to the very first bloody insurrection in Nigeria’s history”.
In 1966, the Igbos were the victims of the largest genocide in Nigeria’s history with over 100,000 of them killed in Northern Nigeria by northern mobs. This pogrom led to the declaration of the Republic of Biafra which led to the Nigerian civil war in which over 3 million Igbos died.