The President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, has commended the Federal Government for condemning the “quit notice” given to Igbo living in the northern part of the country.
Nwodo spoke on Thursday in Enugu at a symposium organised by the Enugu State chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
He said that the Igbo Nation was appreciative of all patriotic Nigerians who rose against such divisive utterances by the northern groups.
The Ohanaeze leader also commended Governor El-Rufai for his decision to fish out and prosecute the people behind such hate speeches.
Nwodo said that such utterances were capable of truncating the unity of the country.
In a reaction to the incident, the South East Senate Caucus has asked Igbo residing in the North to ignore the threat and go about their lawful businesses.
In a statement issued by its Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in Abuja, the Caucus described the quit order by the Arewa youths as “poisonous, irresponsible and one that is aimed at dealing a deadly blow to Nigeria’s unity.”
Abaribe said Section 41 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), guaranteed the right of “every Nigerian to move freely in and reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.”
“So, nobody or groups of persons have the right to abridge the right of the Igbo or any other Nigerian for that matter”.
The Caucus also asked the people to be very cautious and vigilant while going about their normal businesses, especially when viewed from the fact that the security agencies became lethargic in the face of the treasonable threat by the so-called Arewa youths.
Northern youths’ action threat to national unity – CCC
The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has also expressed concern on the chain of events that has culminated into the unfortunate ultimatum issued to Igbo to vacate the northern region by the Coalition of Arewa Youths.
The Centre described the pronouncement as “unconstitutional, provocative and a threat to the peaceful co-existence among the citizens and capable of severing the cord that binds Nigerians.”
In a statement issued in Abuja, the Centre’s Executive Secretary, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd), said that the coalition’s declaration may have been in response to the resurgence of secessionist tendencies orchestrated by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement of the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in the South East of Nigeria.
Anas admonished IPOB and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to modify their modus operandi by embracing dialogue with a view to addressing the myriads of socioeconomic and political issues of the South East and project ideas devoid of antagonistic tendencies.
As a way forward, Anas said that the 15th January of every year, which is the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, should be expanded to be a National Remembrance Day to be set aside to celebrate the unity of the country and commemorate the civilians and military personnel who lost their lives during the unfortunate civil war in order not to give room for mischief makers.