UPDATED: Northern youths dare el-Rufai, insist Igbo must go

Nasir el-Rufai 2

Despite the order of arrest by Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, leaders of the coalition of Northern groups that gave Igbo a three-month notice to quit northern Nigeria say their call was not an invitation to violence but one to allow Igbos achieve their ambition of having their country.

In a statement issued in Kaduna on Thursday, signed by Abdulazeez Suleiman, the coalition berated governors Nasir el-Rufai and Kashim Shettima of Kaduna and Borno states respectively, on their stand against them, saying that the governors were driven by their ambitions to be vice president.

It insisted that it never called “anybody to violence” but maintained that the “the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component”.

It called on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies, such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN, to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbos out of the present federation.

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“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,” read the statement.

“This informs why, a majority of discerning Nigerians, not necessarily northerners alone, understood and identified with our express call for the Biafrans to be allowed to actualise their long-held secessionist aspiration.

“We restate that we have never called anybody to violence and that people should discountenance the elements of fear and threat introduced by the distortions of merchants of mischief.

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“We wholeheartedly endorse the moves made variously by our leaders to allay those fears and urge people to be peaceful and law-abiding while at the same time resolutely insisting on having the right thing done by allowing the Igbo to have and move to their dream country in accordance with the universal fundamental right to self-determination.

“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 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.

“Despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, we make bold to say that the cheerful responses to our position which flowed through the internet and by way of personal telephone conversations nationally and universally has resonated that peace-loving Nigerians who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbos are overwhelmingly desirous to put an end to it.

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“As we acknowledge this outpouring of patriotic support across the nation, we implore people, particularly our cultured northerners to remain restraint in the face of any provocation from any quarter and to debate intelligently.

“We assure them that we shall be firm and resolute in honestly and painstakingly pursuing what we all know is a noble and just cause without hurting anyone.”

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