Friday, 9 June 2017

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Let Igbos Go! - Northern Youths Call ECOWAS, AU, UN for Hastened Referendum

Let Igbos Go! - Northern Youths Call ECOWAS, AU, UN for Hastened Referendum
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 to 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.”
Below is the full text of the coalition latest statement :
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY THE AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FOR CHANGE, AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM, AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, AREWA STUDENTS FORUM AND NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK ON THE FALLOUT OF THE KADUNA DECLARATION
Thursday June 8, 2017
INTRODUCTION
It should be recalled that on Tuesday June 6, 2017 this coalition led several other northern groups to review the position of the North in the wake of the widening and escalating movement for secession orchestrated by groups in Eastern Nigeria.
At the end, we came up with a position paper which we presented as the Kaduna Declaration in which we primarily called on the authorities and the international community to step in to formalize the actualization of the dream of a people who say in words and in action, and the whole nation appears to concur, that they are Biafrans not Nigerians.

We further urged those Biafran nationales to relocate from the North to their newfound country in order to allow other people have peace.
We are today compelled to make this further statement to clarify our stand on some issues that trailed the Kaduna Declaration made on Tuesday June 6, 2017.
CONSEQUENT OBSERVATIONS
After meeting to review the fallout of that Tuesday's Declaration, our groups have arrived at the following fundamental observations:
1. That some elements have for reasons best known to them, mischievously distorted the intent of our original script by alluding such words as 'violence, ' 'threat, ' 'war' and 'mass action' to it.
2. We find this mischievous because as cultured thoroughbred Northerners we have never anywhere and at anytime, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution.
3. 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.
4. 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 actualize their long-held secessionist aspiration.
RESTATING OUR POSITION
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognized international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualization of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbos out of the present federation.
APPRECIATION:
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.
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.
TREACHERY
We have taken time to analyze the reactions that trailed our Declaration, and were nauseated by the comments of some disgruntled northern political power mongers.
We are particularly disappointed by the treacherous positions assumed by Nasir Ahmed Elrufai and Kashim Shettima who in pursuit of their blind ambition for the vice presidency, chose to side with the secessionist Igbos against the interest of peace-loving Nigerians.
It appears that characters like El-Rufai have no limit on how low they can fall in their inordinate desire to achieve their long held dream of power grab at the expense of the peace, well being and stability of our country.
We would like to assure El-Rufai and his ilks that we shall continue to expose their recalcitrant treachery and opportunistic proclivities.
We also assure them that the drive for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria in which the Igbos are not partners, will continue unabated.
Similarly, we are irked by the hordes of lies and misleading innuendos issued by Kashim Shettima, ostensibly on behalf of 19 Northern governors in which he refered to us as faceless and violent.
By our antecedents and track record, no politician or leader of honorable pedigree and impeccable character will associate us with such fabrications and this goes to prove that Shettima has disconnected from reality as he gets intoxicated by immoral wealth and property acquisition at the expense of people of the state suffering the devastation of Bolo Haram.
CONCLUSION
We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria to as a matter of urgency, initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. LET THEM GO.
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
SIGNED:
ABDUL-AZEEZ SULEIMAN
SPOKESPERSON
FOR THE COALATION OF NORTHERN GROUPS (CNG).

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