•Fasoranti, Achuzia, SAN, react
From Paul Osuyi, Asaba, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
Council of Elders of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (CE-IPOB) said the eviction order was a plot by the north to destabilise Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
“Anyone familiar with the influence of Al Maghili’s The Obligations of the Prince (same as Machiavelli’s) on caliphate politics will recognise that bringing the Igbo into the equation is, more likely, a smokescreen, which nevertheless is very serious indeed,” it said after its meeting in Owerri.
The communique signed by Col. Joe Achuzia and Prof. Chidi Osuagwu, stated that with the experience of 1966, the eviction threat should be taken seriously as anything could happen in a state of confusion.
But it said Fulani should be held responsible for whatever happened to the people of the South-South and South-East regions as a consequence of the eviction notice.
“The Council of Elders of IPOB holds the Fulani responsible for the threat, as Hausa are underdogs in the so-called Hausa-Fulani society. We hold the Fulani accountable for whatever happens to the peoples of the South-East and South-South of Nigeria as a consequence of that threat.
“Like in 1966, they will have no way of distinguishing others from Igbo, which is why all were subjected to the pogrom then. In 1966, it was marauding Hausa-Fulani, mostly, that organised the killing of easterners in Maiduguri and the Middle Belt.”
It added: “It takes only a determined mob to create mayhem. Moreover, people with feudalist mindset are by nature self-obsessed, narcissistic, at the expense of others.”
In a separate interview, Achuzia warned that if the ultimatum was treated with kid gloves, no region, not even the Middle Belt and Ahmadiya Islam of South-West region, would survive the consequence.
“The only way to douse the fire is to reconstruct Nigeria. If you don’t restructure, the country will either go up in smoke.”
This view was also shared by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Seyi Sowemimo, who said without restructuring, issue of ethnic agitations could not be wished away.
“I think all we are witnessing now underscore the fact that we cannot run away from the issue of restructuring, and it is becoming more urgent that unless that is done, all this ethnic agitation will not stop,” he said.
He faulted the order to security agencies to arrest any ethnic group or individual preaching disunity and hate messages, noting that it was not solution to the situation. “All what we need as a nation is restructuring,” he said.
Leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, also weighed into the matter.
Fasoranti in a telephone interview with Daily Sun in Akure, yesterday, described the quit notice as divisive, provocative, sensitive and warned against secession, ethnic crisis and war.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government to meet with relevant stakeholders in the north including the Arewa youths and ensure their grievances were met.
“The government should do everything possible to ensure that those calling on Igbo to quit the north are prevailed upon for peace to reign in the country.The Federal Government should speak with the agitators in the north and ensure that they address their grievances, because it won’t augur well for anybody at the end of the day if Nigeria should experience another war.Have we not seen it before?”