Following the the ultimatum issued by some groups for the Igbo to leave the North by a coalition of Arewa youth groups, the Southeast governors has called on northern leaders to take actions that would counter the intended plot of the youths to ensure that the grim history of the past is not repeated.
The chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi urged all Igbo sons and daughters resident in Nothern Nigeria to go about their lawful daily activities without fear of intimidation, hindrance or molestation
He said: “We must call on all serious-minded patriots, particularly the religious leadership in Nothern Nigeria; the leadership of other socio-cultural groups in Nothern Nigeria; the Nigerian Governors Forum; and all the service branches to rise up with voices of peace and wisdom to counteract the mischievousness and exuberant excesses of the northern youth.
“The ugly lessons of history are too grim to be stoked with carelessness. As leaders, we must exert the full measure of our powers and influence to forestall a repetition.
“We call on all Igbo sons and daughters resident in Northern Nigeria to go about their lawful daily activities without fear of intimidation, hindrance or molestation.”
Umahi reiterated the governors’ commitment to “the existence of a virile, united prosperous and progressive Federal Republic of Nigeria where justice, fairness, equity, mutual respect and equality of opportunity to all citizens, regardless of creed, ethnicity or gender, will reign supreme under the inflexible rule of law”.
The governor also denied insinuations that a meeting resolved to send buses to evacuate Igbo in the North.
“The rumours being peddled on conventional and social media platforms that we, the governors of the Southeast have met and agreed to mobilise vehicles and cash for repatriation of Ndigbo resident in Northern Nigeria must be disregarded, as they are nothing but tissues of lies.
”No amount of provocation would lead us to such precipitate and irresponsible action at this time. Those exploiting such vacuous tittle-tattle as a basis for divisive rhetoric in public spaces are simply playing juvenile politics and we urge them to cease and desist,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of police has ordered the Commissioner of Police (CP) in Kaduna State to investigate and arrest members of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum for issuing ultimatum to South Easterners to leave the north.
Also, the United Nations has called on different ethnic tribes and groups in Nigeria to be more tolerant to ensure unity and peace in the country.