Pan-Arewa socio-political organisation under the protection of Northern Elders Forum, on Monday, urged Igbo leaders to persuade Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members advocating separation to make peace to avoid starting another civil war in Nigeria.
The organisation declared that the Northern leaders have decided not to permit any war again in the nation as all the ethnic groups were a victim of the Nigerian civil war in 1967-1970.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, who disclosed these during a press conference in Abuja, however, said that the silence of Igbo leaders was no longer ideal given the alleged recurrent killing of Northerners in Igboland.
He said, “Political leaders in the South East appear to have submitted to violence and terror of IPOB and ESN. Muted voices of millions of Igbo cannot be heard so that fellow Nigerians could understand the degree to which secession by the Igbo represents the popular choice.
“This nation has had to fight a terrible war to preserve the country. The North had paid its dues in that war, as indeed it did in many ways throughout the history of the country. Under our current circumstances, no Nigerian should welcome another war to keep the country together.
“The North, in particular, has more than enough challenges, and we recognise that violent secession by any part of Nigeria will compound the problems all Nigerians live with.
“It will not be the best choice for the Igbo or Nigerians to leave a country we have all toiled to build and a country we all have a responsibility to fix. But it will not help a country already burdened with failures on its knees to fight another war to keep the Igbo in Nigeria.
“The Forum insists that attacks and killings of Northerners and Federal Government employees and destruction of national assets must stop. Those who have been involved in it must be arrested and prosecuted.
“Unlike the postures and complacency of the leaders of the South East, we advise that all Igbo and other ethnic groups from the South residing in the North should be accorded the usual hospitality and security.
“The National Assembly should explore additional avenues for tapping into opinions that can help redress serious limitations to the Federal system before the 2023 elections.
“The North is willing to discuss all matters related to constitutional amendments/restructuring with the leadership of the country and other groups who see their presence in the future of Nigeria.”
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