Northern Nigeria elders and youths now seem to be singing different tunes over the quit notice issues to Igbos to vacate the region by October 1.
The. Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has rejected the submission by one of its executives, Professor Ango Abdullahi, that it is in support of the vacation notice issued to Ndigbo.
The elders said it was not possible for the group to support the demand made by some ignorant northern youths who were not born when Nigeria had three million of its citizens wasted during the civil war in order to keep the country as one.
The position of Abdullahi, who supported the 90 days ultimatum to Ndigbo living in the North to vacate was earlier attributed to the position of NEF on the matter.
Abdullahi is the spokesman for NEF.
But in reponse to the issue, the deputy leader of the NEF, Elder Paul Unongo, said that Abdullahi was on his own in backing ignorant youths.
He said, “I am the deputy leader of the Northern Elders Forum and Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule is the leader. So, only the two of us can speak for the forum on sensitive matter like this. Therefore, if Professor Ango Abdullahi is backing those ignorant youths, then he is speaking for himself.
“We cannot support the nonsense those boys said. We fought civil war with our blood to keep Nigeria one. So, any Nigerian can live in any part of the country he feels like. Igbos are welcome in the North, they are welcome in Yorubaland and my own village in Tivland and they have right to pursue their daily bread and own property.
“We couldn’t have killed three million people to keep Nigeria one and come back and allow these kids (the Northern Youth Groups) to insult our intelligence. We knew why we fought the war, we knew why we killed the people we loved. We knew why we made the sacrifice of three million men dead. So, Northern Elders Forum cannot take same position as those young men, if at all they took a position.
“So, if the young men cannot build a nation, they should not destroy the one we put our lives on the line to build for them. We cannot allow young men who did not fight the civil war with us to destroy our country, because Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.”
Also in his reaction to the development on Friday, Katsina State Governor Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, assured Igbo and other non-natives in his state not to nurse any fear.
He vowed that the state government under his leadership would always protect them from any unforeseen attack.
The governor’s position was made known in a statement he released through his Senior Special Assistant, Abdul Labaran Malumfashi.
Read also : Northern Elders back youths, say Igbo must go
The governor as said, “I am calling on all non-indigenes resident in the state, especially the Ibos, to have nothing to fear. This government is ever so ready, willing, capable and prepared to protect the lives and property of every citizen living in the state regardless of their ethnic, religious or regional background.
“People should have nothing to fear as long as they conduct themselves within the bounds of the laws of the country.
“The only sentiment this government recognises and, indeed, encourages is patriotism, for which we will do anything to advance amongst the citizens so as to give everyone equal sense of belonging in our dear state.
“Katsina is not only a home of peace, but is home to all law abiding citizens. This is why at no time in its history has any part of the state ever been demarcated for the exclusive use of any group to the exclusion of others. It is our belief that segregation does not foster unity.”
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