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Northern elders say Ango’s claims of killing of northerners in the South East personal opinion



Northern elders under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD) have distanced themselves from a statement credited to Prof. Ango Abdullahi, where he claimed that many people from the northern parts of the country were killed in the South East during the #EndSARS protests in October.

The Northern elders, in a statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni and National Women Leader, Hajia Mario Bichi, on Friday, said Prof. Abdullahi was only airing his personal opinion and that they were not part of it as he claimed.

They urged Nigerians to disregard the statement by Prof. Abdullahi as it was not the general position of the North and its people, especially the elders.

The statement further described Prof. Abdullahi’s statement as being “false, misleading, unfortunate, insensitive, callous, and meant to instigate Nigerians against one other, especially igniting ethnic killing.”

The Northern Elders added that the statement by Prof. Abdullahi was an unfounded claim “at a time Nigerians had put to the past the ugly civil war experiences and were building bridges on consolidating national reconciliation was the least unfortunate.”

The statement reads:

“We wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the statement credited to a well-read and respected elder statesman from our region, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, to the effect that Igbo people killed many northerners in the South East during the #EndSARS protest which was hijacked by some sponsored criminal elements.

Read also: Ohanaeze slams Ango Abdullahi over allegation Igbos attacking Northerners

“This statement is false, unfortunate, insensitive, callous, and meant to instigate Nigerians against one other.

“Making this unfounded claim, especially at a time Nigerians had worked past the ugly civil war experiences and are building bridges and consolidating on national reconciliation, is the least unfortunate.

“We wish to let Nigerians know that Prof. Ango Abdullahi’s statement was his personal opinion and does not represent the position of Northern Elders as he had portrayed.

“We expect that an elder statesman of his status with such level of education ought to have known the difference between criminality and ethnic agenda.

“What happened in some South East states was a pure act of criminality and not an Igbo agenda and was not peculiar to the region.

“How can he say Igbo people killed Northerners? Nothing can be more misleading than this.

“People were killed and properties destroyed in several parts of the country including some parts of the North. It is unfair to attribute this act of some misguided deviants as a collective Igbo agenda.

“It is an established fact that during and after the uprising, so many Igbo groups rose to condemn the attacks by these criminals and even shared intelligence with security agencies which led to the arrest of so many of these misguided youths.

“Prominent groups in Igbo land also condemned the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in public. So we wonder where Prof. Ango got his facts from.

“It is our humble appeal that we guide our comments especially those capable of igniting hate across the country. We must continue to preach national unity and work together to defeat criminality in our country instead of attributing such act to a particular region.

“We, therefore, call our Northern and Southern brothers to ignore this statement in its entirety.”

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