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Igbo Quit Notice: Why I Backed Arewa Youths, Prof. Ango Abdullahi Explains

 

Prof.-Ango-Abdullahi

Chairman Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi

 

… North loves Igbos more than no other tribe

ABUJA – Renowned statesman and Chairman, Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi says his organisation will work with the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Communities Landlord Association of |Nigeria, OMPALAN to build bridges across the country and strengthen corporate governance. Prof. Abdullahi made the position known Tuesday during a meeting with OMPALAN leadership led by, Bishop Udo Azogu and other executive members of the group in Zaria.

 

The meeting which was convened by OMPALAN was aimed at dousing the rising tension in the country and to foster a cordial relationship among all ethnic nationalities and to pursue good corporate governance in the country. Prof. Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of Amadu Bello University, Zaria, while welcoming the OMPALAN proposal on peace building, said his decision to back the Arewa Youths on the quick notice issued to Igbos was born out of accumulated feeling of betrayal of the South Easterners and particularly their political leaders, who failed to caution Nnamdi Kanu and other Biafra agitators but instead gave them full support in their struggle.

 

The Elder Statesman said he was particularly worried that notable political leaders in the South East like Dr Elex Ekwueme, Emeka Anyaoku, Jim Nwobodo and Mbazulike Amechi among others failed to speak out when the ovation was high but kept mute while the new Biafra agitation spread like wide fire and raged on. He said he was baffled when people started condemning him for making his own support to Arewa Youths open, unlike other Northern leaders who pretended about it.

 

According to him, the North and Eastern Nigeria had come a long way in terms of building political bridges starting from the first republic when Dr Nnamdi Zik conceded the position of Prime Minister to Tafawa Balewa and in second republic when Dr Alex Ekwueme was supported by the North to become Vice President to Shehu Shagari, a relationship, he said the North had always wanted to resuscitate despite the setbacks it suffered from the three years civil war.

He also revealed that part of their grouse against the Igbo was their failure to appreciate the love shown to them by the North after the Civil War by returning all their abandoned properties back to them in addition to rents collected on their behalf by various caretakers assigned to supervise the affected properties, a favour they (Igbo) could not get from their South-South neighbours who confiscated their properties in Port Harcourt and other South-South cities.

According to him, the Igbo should reciprocate the gesture of the North by supporting them politically rather than turning their back on them. He cited two instances where Igbo showed total rejection of the North when President Mohammadu Buhari chose late Dr Chuba Okadigbo and Edwin Umezeoke in 2007 and 2011 as running mates but was rejected by the Igbos, which led them to switch over to South West in 2015.

Earlier in his opening address, Bishop Azogu said the mission of OMPALAN was to unravel root causes of the rising cases of agitations and hate speeches which had raised tension in the polity and to seek possible means of addressing them. He said OMPALAN saw the various agitations across the country as a manifestation of the failure of leadership by the political class and had decided to work with all ethnic nationalities in the country, including the Northern Elders Forum to save the country from going into precipices.

He informed his host that the proponents of the present Biafra agitation do not enjoy the support of most Igbo and hence the need to refocus their anger on the political class rather than the innocent and poor Igbos. Azogu, who lampooned the South Eastern political class for not taking a common position to condemn the new Biafra struggle ab initio, blamed Prof. Abdullahi for supporting the action of the Arewa Youths Coalition. According to him, such support amount to making a blanket condemnation of the entire Igbo race and urged him to retract his earlier statement.

At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed that: the various crisis across Nigeria were as a result of leadership failure; that the bond of unity in Nigeria is stronger than divisive forces; that the North loves the Igbos which was exemplified by restitution of all properties belonging to Igbos in the North after the Civil War; that OMPALAN and Northern Elders Forum would set up a joint peace committee to douse tension generated by hate speeches and secessionist rhetorics; that there is not enough evidence on ground to justify trillions of naira disbursed through robust palliative programs to the Oil Producing States of Nigeria.

The meeting also agreed that: Oil is a national issue and that due recognition should be given to impacted areas; that Nigeria has been stagnated for over 60 years by corruption and bad governance; that the teeming helpless Igbo people cannot be made to pay for the ineptitude of the region’s political leadership and isolated secessionist rhetorics; that Nigeria to remains as one united and indivisible country where all law-abiding citizens can live and do business in any part of the country without fear of molestation or intimidation; that the quit notice to Igbo’s living in the north to serve as clarion call to the nation’s leaders; that there should be tolerance, accommodation and forgiveness amongst Nigerians.

The meeting further listed Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, MNDA; Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; Oil Derivation Fund Commission and Federal Government Amnesty Program as some of the palliative programs established by government to cushion the harsh environmental impact on oil producing states: Speaking further to Vanguard Newspaper at the end of the meeting, Bishop Azogu said Nigerians are entitled to know the health status of their President. He said Buhari is not the President of APC or any special group but, the elected President of Nigeria with a mandate to steer the ship of State in consonance with the provisions of the nation’s constitution.

According to him, keeping Buhari’s health status secret for a long time is insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians. ‘‘It’s like saying it’s no body’s business. But, Nigerians will not be silent for a long time.

The Governors and other political leaders of the South East have failed the region. They’re unfit to represent the region. This is why some people cashed in on the vacuum created by the rudderless leadership of the region to demand secession. Nobody should be fooled anymore. He said the South East requires a new crop of leadership that can read political barometers accurately and work proactively to protect the interest of the region.

He described Prof Ango Abdullahi as an honest and sincere leader who simply raised alarm to save the country from blood bath and disintegration. ‘‘Other aggrieved leaders in the North saw the country on a dangerous collision course with anarchy and kept mute. Ango Abdullahi’s timely statement was not intended to incite lawlessness but, a clarion call to all Nigerians of all climes to work collaboratively and defend the unity of the Country,’’ he said.
(Vanguard)

THE REPUBLICAN NEWS
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FG Should Let Biafrans Go, Northern Youths Insist |The Republican News

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IPOB members and Nigerian security forces in Aba 

Bayo Akinloye

The Coalition of Northern Groups has called on the Federal Government to initiate a process allowing the Igbo to vote in a referendum that will allow them to have an independent state of Biafra.

The group, which comprised of the Arewa Citizens Action for Change; Arewa Youth Consultative Forum; Arewa Youth Development Foundation; Arewa Students Forum; and the Northern Emancipation Network, in a statement issued on Thursday, following the backlash that greeted its Tuesday statement in which a three-month ultimatum was issued to Igbo living in the North to leave the region.

“We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency to initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. Let them go. We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.

“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and the UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation,” the group said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.

The group, which had on Tuesday urged Igbo leave the North for “their newfound country in order to allow other people have peace” said its statement was twisted out of context, hence the need for clarification.

“We are today compelled to make this further statement to clarify our stand on some issues that trailed the Kaduna Declaration made on Tuesday. After meeting to review the fallout of that Tuesday’s declaration, our groups have arrived at the following fundamental observations: That some elements have for reasons best known to them, mischievously distorted the intent of our original script by alluding to such words as ‘violence,’ ‘threat,’ ‘war,’ and ‘mass action’ to it.

“We find this mischievous because as cultured, thoroughbred northerners we have never anywhere and at any time, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution. In strict observance of that tradition we never employ violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications,” it said.

The coalition noted that despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, many Nigerians were in support of its position, describing them as people “who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbo.” (Punchng.com)

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