Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and leading opposition figure in Nigeria, has condemned the threat by prominent Northern groups to Igbos living in the region saying that violence against Igbos in the North will be met with violence in the South.
In a short statement issued on Thursday, June 8, 2017, an e-mailed to The Trent, the thought leader made further reactions to the pre-genocide threat issued by a coalition of Arewa Groups ordering that Igbos leave the North before October 1, 2017.
He said that the northern youth need to be warned that “this is not 1966′ in which a pogrom was carried out in the North against Igbos.
“The northern youths must be warned and told in very clear terms. This is not 1966. Any pogrom or slaughter of Igbos in the north will lead to a swift, immediate and devastating retaliation throughout the south,” the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain said.
“Those that gave the Igbo quit notice in the north are playing with fire and that fire will consume them. They are opening the gates of hell and they will enter that gate.
“They are plunging us into darkness and we shall enter that darkness together. Nigeria belongs to us all.
“I urge the core Muslim northern elders and leaders to call their youths to order before they spark off a series of events and a crisis that may not only lead to a second civil war but will also lead to the end of Nigeria.
“This time around the Igbo are not alone. An attack on them is an attack on every southerner and every Middle Belter. And such an attack will have grave and unfathomable consequences,” 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.