A coalition of fourteen Igbo civil society groups have called for the Igbos living in Northern Nigeria to return home because “a single Igbo blood” is not worth the assets that they own in the region.
This call follows threats to Igbos issued by a group of Arewa youth giving the Igbos an ultimatum to leave the region before October 1, 2017.
The group held a brainstorming session on June 10, 2017 in light of the tension created in Nigeria following the Arewa pre-genocide threat.
Below is the full statement by the group.
COMMUNIQUE OF A MEETING OF THE IGBO CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION HELD IN ENUGU ON JUNE 10, 2017
The Igbo Civil society Coalition comprising civil society organizations and activists from the Igbo nation met in Enugu, today, June 10, 2017 to appraise the current political developments in the nation. After a five hour brainstorming session, the coalition resolved as follows:
To henceforth advance the fundamental human rights of Ndigbo and other like minded peoples.
That the coalition condemns in no uncertain terms, the ultimatum issued Ndi-Igbo by the Coalition of Arewa Youths and endorsed by Northern Elders Forum to leave the Northern Nigeria on or before October 1, 2017 and the threat of violence accompanying that ultimatum; but at the same time welcomes it wholeheartedly as one of the greatest things that ever happened to the Igbo nation.
The coalition, therefore, appeals to Ndi-Igbo in the North not to repeat the mistake of 1966, because the N50 trillion Igbo investment to develop the North, of which we appeal to all Igbos in the North to carefully document theirs, cannot be compared to the life of a single Igbo.
Ndigbo wholeheartedly accept the call by the Arewa groups for everyone to go their separate ways. We are therefore calling on all Igbos in various positions of power and responsibility to make immediate and effective arrangements for the protection of all Igbo persons in the context of the fullest implementation of that ultimatum.
Prof. ObasiIgwe – Igbo Academia
Comrade Larry Oguego- Human Rights Volunteers Corps
Comrade Ibuchukwu Ezike- Civil Liberties Organization
Emmanuel Acha- Youth Forum for Social Change
Comrade AbiaOnyike-Media Centre for Democratic Dialogue
Barr. Chinenye Akubuilo-Inter Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Princewill Okorie-Association for Public Policy Analysis
Comrade Paulinus Okoro-AIFPU
Pastor Elvis Okolie- Civil Society Network
Comrade Okechukwu Orji-Centre for Youth Care & Human Rights Awareness.
Prof. Smart Otu-Igbo Academia
Mazi Ikechukwu Bismarck Oji, MNSE- Centre for the Advancement of Literacy & Leadership (CALL)
Eric Eyutchae- Igbo Intelligentsia Group
Nsude Godwsill –Gloxina Foundation
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.
The northern groups’ threat to Igbos is now widely referred to as the Kaduna Declaration and has been widely condemned by public officials and political groups. However, it has also received wide support from northern elements like Professor Abdullahi.