The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the umbrella group of the Niger Delta people, have described the quit notice by 16 Arewa youth groups in Kaduna to the Igbo as grave.
It considered the statement by the Arewa youths as tragic and more treasonable than the offence allegedly committed by Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), for which he was held in detention for about a year.
A statement yesterday by PANDEF signed by Dr. Alfred Mulade, a member of the central working committee, stated that not only is the statement by the Arewa youths a potent threat to the corporate unity of the country, but the most dangerous statement ever made by any group to the unity and existence of Nigeria since the end of the civil war.
The statement read: “This statement by the Arewa youths, which strikes at the very roots of the Nigeria we believe in, is, indeed, an attempt to divide and break up the country whose unity is guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In condemning this statement in its entirety, PANDEF calls on all northern state governments, elders, particularly the Arewa Consultative Assembly in whose House the press conference was held, not only to condemn it but to take concrete steps to reassure the Igbo and indeed all Nigerians that they are free to stay in the North without any form of molestations.
“PANDEF insists that this call by Arewa youths must be nipped in the bud, and the Federal Government should, as in the case of Nnamdi Kanu, arrest, detain and prosecute them for treasonable felony with immediate effect. In this matter of threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria, there must be no sacred cows.
“Whilst we do not support Nnamdi Kanu, and the various secessionist organisations in the South-East for reviving the call for Biafra; and whilst we have to restate that the South-South is not part of the said Biafra, we take the view that this regrettably dangerous statement by the northern youths is unwittingly lending profound support to the demands of the Biafran agitators, which is totally unacceptable to any patriotic Nigerian, and a flagrant violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Similarly, the Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI) said the ultimatum given to the Igbo was North’s intention to end Nigeria’s marriage.
The National President of IPDI, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said: “We want to laud the North for its readiness for the dissolution of the false marriage call Nigeria. However, if they fail to disintegrate as declared, we shall refer to them as cowards and mental unstable people. The Igbo and other Niger Deltans should kindly evacuate the North before October 1. Biafra and Niger Delta agitations are unstoppable. Nigeria has grown beyond keeping its unity through force.”