Northern leaders approved quit order to Igbo –Yerima
• Says coalition to take final stand on October 1 deadline soon
From Linus Oota, Lafia
The October 1 quit notice issued by Arewa youths to Igbo residing in the north had the backing of prominent leaders of the region.
This disclosure was made, yesterday, by Alhaji Shettima Yerima, leader, of the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG), which issued the three-month ultimatum in June in the now popular Kaduna Declaration after a meeting in the historic Arewa House.
Yerima who spoke in Lafia, during the zonal meeting of the Coalition in Nasarawa, explained that in June 2017, a group of prominent northern leaders met with members of Arewa youths to take the position.
“On June 6, 2017, a group of leaders from the north came together to deliberate on the situation in the country.
“After their deliberation, we realised the need to make a statement on the activities of the Biafra agitators in the country.”
As the deadline draws closer, he said the group would soon meet to take a stand on the next line of action.
He said the Kaduna declaration was in response to the Biafra agitation.
According to him, the quit order was precipitated by the activities of Biafra agitators in the South-east led by Nnandi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) that was threatening the peace and unity of the country.
“We cannot fold our hands to watch an individual hold this country to ransom.
“We can’t allow an individual insult our leaders and play over our sensibilities,” he said.
He said the quit notice was a signal to Kanu and his group that Nigeria cannot be undermined by a single individual, even as he described Kanu as a frustrated human being seeking political relevance.
Yerima, who led other groups in the north to the annual meeting said after due consultations, they had decided to relax the quit order and watch events, but added that his group would soon take a stand on the October 1 deadline.
He further said that agitation was a normal thing but it must be within the ambit of the law, which Kanu had breached.
He said folowing the quit notice, prominent Igbo leaders and important organisations like Ohaneze Ndigbo came up to dissociate themselves from Kanu’s activities, saying that he did not represent them.
He described northerners as intelligent people contrary to the belief that they were illiterate.
He advised youths to shun violence and thuggery and concentrate on taking their destinies in their hands. He appreciated northern leaders, like the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno State governor for their intervention on the quit notice, noting that the Coalition was out to ensure that Nigeria remain united.