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Urban And Rural Politics
Friday, 25 August 2017
Arewa Youths Backs Down On Notice Quitting Igbo’s in Northern Nigeria
Arewa coalition group has back-down on it decision quitting the Igbo’s in its region before October 1
The Arewa coalition, during a press briefing by its spokesman and Chairman of the Northern Emancipation Movement,
Suleiman, said the decision to recant their position was as a result of various interventions both by the federal government and notable and well-meaning Nigerians, adding that the group had resolved to suspend the quit notice forthwith.
“As a consequence of these vigorous engagements and as cultured people with a tradition of respect for our national values, concerned leaders and elders, we are today pleased to announce the immediate suspension of the relocation clause, otherwise referred to as the quit notice from the Kaduna Declaration,” the group said.
Explaining why it issued the divisive quit notice, Suleiman said they were forced to act due to IPOB’s arrogant attitude and continuing affront on Nigeria’s peace.
“The incessant threats, insults, open calls for violence and war on all other tribes and regions that had become the hallmark of IPOB’s Biafran agitation based on fake and exaggerated claims of marginalisation was what prompted the relocation clause,” he said.
Suleiman stressed that the decision to withdraw the quit notice was borne out of the intense pressure mounted by concerned political, traditional and religious leaders.
“Most significant was our correspondence with the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and most recently our interface with the presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu.
“As a consequence of these vigorous engagements and as cultured people with a tradition of respect for our national values, leaders and elders, we are today pleased to announce the immediate suspension of the relocation clause, otherwise referred to as the quit notice from the Kaduna Declaration,” Suleiman added.
He noted that the suspension was also a reaffirmation of the group’s allegiance to a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
The statement was signed by leaders of the 14 groups that make up the coalition, including Shettima Yerima, leader of the Youth Consultative Forum, who read the Kaduna Declaration.
Although the group announced the withdrawal of the quit notice, it said it would still pursue its petition at the United Nations and the call on the federal government to apply appropriate sanctions against Kanu.
It also called for the re-arrest of Kanu and for his prosecution, while calling on the Senate to demand that all senators who stood surety for him in court as part of his bail conditions, to rescind their bond or be suspended from the parliament.
The group pledged to remain available for further interactions with other groups, including those from the South-east with a view to building a greater united Nigeria.
Reacting, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, who commended the group for suspending the quit notice, said the concern of the Northern governors was to prevent people from hiding under the notice to cause harm on other Nigerians.
“We are here to ensure that the quit notice was publicly withdrawn the same way it was made publicly,” the governor said.
According to the governor, the order would have been withdrawn earlier but was delayed to avoid any division within the group.
“I am a proud of Nigerians and I am also proud of the Igbos,” he said, noting that the hope of the black man rests on a united Nigeria.
Apart from Governor Shettima, other notable politicians at the press conference were Alhaji Sani Zango Darau, a former minister, and Senator Kabiru Gaya from Kano State.
The group said it would henceforth dedicate its energy and resources to ensuring that never again shall the rights of Northerners be trampled upon.
In proffering suggestions on what should be done to ensure lasting peace among the ethic nationalities in the country, the Northern group said the federal government should allow the Igbos to hold a referendum to determine their position on IPOB’s agitation for self-determination.
“By virtue of Nigeria being a signatory to the various international conventions that entrench the right of a people to self determination, we submit that it is only proper for the Nigerian authorities to reflect that right in the ongoing constitution review, or in the alternative, rescind its endorsement of the said conventions,” he said.
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