From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has come under severe attacks following its call for the continued detention and trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazuruike Amaechi had recently led Igbo elders to visit President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Villa where they, among other issues pleaded with the president to consider granting amnesty for Kanu and other detained Igbo youths.
But the CNG asked the President to ignore the request of the high-powered delegation. Many Igbo groups in tackling the northern group said its utterance was not only unguarded but was capable of acerbating the already precarious situation in Nigeria. For criticising Igbo leaders’ call on the President to grant unconditional release to Kanu, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) viewed it as an attack on the Igbo nation, saying the coalition was unpatriotic, parasitic and insensitive.
A statement by the National Director of Information of MASSOB, Edeson Samuel vowed that they will never go unpunished. It said MASSOB would always see CNG as bunch of cowards, charlatans and street boys that was always at the service of the Fulani northern oligarchy and their mission of enthroning Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria.
“They are working for the northern based Islamic terrorist organizations including the Fulani herdsmen, Fulani bandits, Boko Haram, ISWAP and President Muhammed Buhari led Federal Government.
“The Suleiman Abdulazeez-led CNG has failed to call for the arrest of Sheik Gumi who has been negotiating, dining and speaking for terrorist criminals and bandits that are killing, kidnapping and causing genocide in northern Nigeria,” MASSOB stated.
On its part, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) said the Northern group does not own Nigeria and also lacks the power to dictate what will happen in Nigeria.
COSEYL however, advised they should go and face the banditry, kidnapping and terrorism problems in the north and leave the South East alone. It reasoned that if the CNG was of the opinion that for Igbo leaders to ask for the unconditional release of Kanu meant that they were backing him, it therefore sufficed that “Northern leaders and elders including CNG are backing and are in full support of all the evils, atrocities and wickedness by Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers, ISWAP that have killed thousands of Nigerians including security agents, destroyed property and homes, collect taxes from hapless citizens while forcefully giving out their underage daughters in marriage.”
President General of COSEYL, Goodluck Ibem wondered how Kanu’s unconditional release will make Nigeria lawless when Boko Haram terrorists and their likes were being released and reintegrated into the society without prosecution by the Federal Government.
Ibem said: “Nigeria today is ranked among the terror index nations because of the murderous activities of Boko Haram terrorists, murderous Fulani herdsmen, ISWAP and not because of the IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu.
“CNG is really bereft of ideas and that is why they made such unguarded statement. If CNG was sincere about their claim to maintain a lawful state, they would have opposed the Federal Government for granting amnesty to Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP who have killed countless Nigerians. Year 2023 is the turn of Ndigbo to produce the Nigerian president and the unconditional release of Nnamdi Kanu by the Federal Government will not affect or no deny Ndigbo the opportunity of having a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction come 2023.”
In addition, the Igbo National Council (INC) said the northern group was only seeking recognition. President of INC, Chilos Godsent was emphatic that the CNG could not threaten the South East and warned them to stop heating up the polity.
“We wish to inform the Nigerian people that the mercantilist Coalition of Northern Groups lacks the moral gut to threaten the South East zone with 2023 Presidency because they are seeking the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu,” Godsent said.