•Kano CP, MASSOB, northern CAN, Ohanaeze also react
From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri, Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka, Okey Sampson, Aba, John Adams, Minna and Brown Chimezie, Lagos
Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has described the quit order issued by Arewa youths as nonsensical, ill-informed, inciting and capable of causing anarchy in the country.
Governor Okorocha who stated this, yesterday, at the Government House, Owerri when he addressed journalists, said the situation must be addressed immediately to save the nation from any crisis.
“The statement issued by some Arewa youths to the effect that Igbo living in the north should leave on or before October 1, is not only nonsensical and ill-informed but also inciting and capable of causing anarchy in the country.
“Similarly, the reactions from the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) asking Igbo in the north to come back home is equally nonsense because that is not what we want at this moment. It will be wrong for the leaders of the nation to allow miscreants to kill the nation and the current campaign of hatred must be stopped,” he stated.
Okorocha said the agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra did not have the blessings of the political leaders of South-east.
“What we should be talking about is how to develop the country because other leaders of Africa are waiting for Nigeria to take her rightful position as the leader of the continent of Africa, but rather we are dissipating our energy fanning the embers of ethnic and religious hatred. The Igbo have contributed to the economic development of this country more than any ethnic nationality because they have their investments scattered all over the country and they should, therefore, not join in the song of disunity because they will suffer more whenever there is crisis.”
He promised to bring the Arewa and the Igbo youths together noting that the South-east and the North have always enjoyed political relationship.
Meanwhile, MASSOB said it would resist “the born to conquer and rule syndrome” of the North.
In a statement signed by its Director of Information, Edeson, MASSOB said the quit notice was a plot to create confusion in the country.
“Their aim is to take over the seat of power at all cost because they are afraid of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health.
“They plotted a coup and the coup got exposed, they decided to use the quit notice order against Ndigbo to create confusion in order to use the military to take over the government like they did withy June 12. We, the Biafrans, will resist the born-to-rule or born-to-conquer syndrome by the north.”
MASSOB also said those advocating for restructuring or Igbo presidency were on their own as the group would not go for anything other than Biafra.
Kano State Police Commissioner, Mr. Rabi’u Yusuf, assured Igbo residents in the state of adequate protection.
A statement released in Kano yesterday by DSP Magaji Majiya, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, said the CP gave the assurance on Monday at a meeting with the leadership of the Igbo community.
The commissioner also assured the Igbo of the commitment of the command to ensuring the safety of their lives and property like every other Nigerian living in the state.
He called on Igbo to remain calm, continue to carry out their businesses lawfully and live peacefully with other ethnic groups.
In his remark, Eze Igbo Kano, Dr. Boniface Ibekwe expressed gratitude to the commissioner for summoning the meeting “at this crucial time’’.
In spite of the assurance, a cleric and founder of John 3:16 Ministry, Aba, Abia State, Samuel Ajayi, has joined those urging Ndigbo in the North to return to the East.
The cleric, who spoke in Aba against the backdrop of the October 1 ultimatum for Igbo living in the North to return to the South-east, said their lives were worth more than N44 trillion investments, thereby rubbishing the argument that it would be difficult for Igbo to leave their investments in the North put at about N44 trillion.
“It is when someone is alive that he would talk about his wealth”, he said.
To douse the tension being generated by the quit notice, leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the north met with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Niger State chairman of CAN, Reverend Mathias Echioda, who confirmed the meeting in Minna yesterday, said CAN in the 19 northern states took exception to the quit notice.
Though, Echioda did not give further details of the meeting, he asked the “elders” in the north to put pressure on the Arewa youths to withdraw the ultimatum and tender apology to Igbo.
“A society that does not accept strangers will never grow, it will remain archaic and backward. That quit notice is an unfortunate development. I am disappointed that some elders are even joining in this type of thing rather than condemning it,” he submitted.
The meeting also discussed the prevailing security situation in the region, especially in the Southern Kaduna and alleged marginalisation of Christians by some governors in the region.
He described the recent appointments, postings of permanent secretaries and the composition of Niger State Executive Council as “marginalisation at its highest peak”.
He pointed out that of the 15 commissioners in the state executive council, only three were Christians while out of the 17 permanent secretaries, only three were also Christians.
“This is an outright marginalisation; the equation cannot balance under that arrangement,” he said
While it condemned the quit order, apex Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Lagos appealed to Igbo across the country to continue to live peacefully with their host communitie
Addressing Ohaneze chairmen and youth leaders from the 23 local governments and 33 council development areas in an emergency meeting, president of the Lagos chapter of the association, Dr. Femi Ferguson-Okoh charged Ndigbo to be wise like the biblical serpent and yet harmless as dove in pursuing their goals within the entity called Nigeria.
He urged the security agents and agencies to go beyond rhetoric and carry out investigations to unmask the masterminds of the eviction order and nip their evil plans in the bud.