From: Linus Oota, Lafia
Leader of Coalition of Northern Group (CNG) Mr. Shettima Yerima, has revealed that the group did not take the position to ask the Igbo to leave the North on their own, but were prompted by yet-to-be named leaders in the North.
The group led by Yerima had, recently, issued quit notice on the Igbo in the North to leave the region latest October 1, this year.
He also said that, Nnamdi Kanu, with his actitivies, which is threatening the peace and unity of the country, gave rise to the Kaduna declaration.
Yerima stated this, on Monday, in Lafia, during the zonal meeting of the Coalition in Nasarawa State. He explained that sometime in June 2017, a group of prominent northern leaders met with them (CNG) to take that position.
According to him, “Sometime in June 6, 2017, a group of leaders from the northern extraction came together, and after much deliberations on the situation in the country, we realised the need to make a statement on the activities of the Biafra in the country
“We cannot fold our hands to watch an individual hold this country to ransom; we can’t allow an individual insult our leaders and play with our sensibilities.”
He further said that agitations was a normal thing, but it must be within the ambit of the law which Kanu has breached, adding that the Kaduna declaration was in response to the Biafra agitations.
He said that when the quit notice was issued, prominent Igbo leaders and organisations like Ohaneze which is the umbrella of the Igbo, dissociated themselves with Kanu’s activities, that he did not speak for the South East.
Yerima explained that the quit notice was a signal to Kanu and his group that Nigeria could not be undermined by an individual and described him as a frustrated human being who is seeking political relevance.
Yerima, who led other groups in the North to the annual meeting, said that after due consultations, they had decided to relax the notice and watch events, adding that his group would soon take a stand on the October 1 deadline.
He described northerners as ‘intelligent people against the notion that northerners are illiterates’, and advised youths to shun violence and thuggery and concentrate on taking their destiny in their hands.
He appreciated northern leaders like the Sultan of Sokoto and the Borno State governor for their intervention on the quit notice, noting that the coalition was out to ensure that Nigeria remains united and not divided.