From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Rapprochement between Ohanaeze youth groups and Arewa youths seem to be on the horizon.
Members of Ohanaeze Youth Council and Coalition of Northern Groups have agreed to hold a meeting in the South East, on a yet-to-be fixed date, in continuation of peace moves, against the backdrop of the October 1, 2017 quit notice handed down to Igbo living in the 19 northern states.
Rising from a maiden edition of the meeting, in Abuja, at the weekend, leadership of the two youth organisations revealed that they have equally set up a six-man committee to iron out modalities for lasting peace between the regions before expiration of the October 1 ultimatum.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the meeting, chairmen of the Northern youth groups, Yerima Shettina and his Ohanaeze counterpart, Mazi Okechukwu Isigusoro, admitted they had fruitful discussions.
Shettima, however, warned that Arewa youths have not officially withdrawn the quit notice, and warned that his group will not have anything to do with IPOB members.
He insisted that its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, must never go unpunished.
In a related development, Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), under the leadership of Uchenna Madu has bemoaned Arewa Youths’ call on the United Nations (UN) to list the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.
The group condemned the call in its entirety and warned Arewa youths against its utterances on IPOB and the entire Ndigbo as a dangerous omen which may do everybody no good rather than creating more tension in the country.
MASSOB National Director of Information, Mr. Edson Samuel, in a statement, yesterday, described the call by Arewa youths as lack of knowledge and understanding between terrorism and self-determination.
“These Northern youths, who want the UN to list IPOB as a terrorist group are confused because they don’t know the meaning of terrorists. MASSOB will not blame them because they are illiterates, uneducated and charlatans who do not know the difference between terrorism and self-determination…
“Nigeria is a signatory to the ‘Rights to self-determination,’ and so, the attempt to label IPOB a terrorist body is laughable and unrealistic. The UN is made up of professional, learned and educated gentlemen who cannot be pushed by sentiments of these ignorant people.
“The Northern politicians who are desperate to hold on to power are the sponsors of these Arewa youths and Almajirai, who cannot define the meaning of terrorist. MASSOB is warning Arewa youths to mind their utterances because Igbo and Biafrans cannot be intimidated by their antics,” Samuel warned.