From: Felix Ikem, Nsukka
A prominent Enugu indigene, Chief Paul Atanike, otherwise called Possible, has described the ultimatum issued to Igbo sons and daughters living in the North by coalition of Northern youths to vacate their region as clarion call to go develop the South East of the country.
Atanike also said that the call to leave the North was long overdue, as the divisive notice should provoke Igbo into developing their area.
He said this in an interview with Daily Sun while reacting to the three months quit notice on the Igbo.
According to him: “A visitor is expected to go back to his home at a given time. It would be an act of stupidity for that same person to force himself or herself on the host.”
He noted that instead of condemning the actions of the Arewa youth, they should be commended for their foresight in asking the Igbo to vacate their land to take care of their own domain and come to the realization that they had lived in error in the past.
“I don’t see anything wrong in asking your tenants or visitors to go back to their place.
“This quit notice is a clarion call to all Igbo sons and daughters to return and develop our land. We have been asking our people to come back home to develop our place. Maybe now that nature has made it compulsory our people will heed the voice of reason.
“The truth is I don’t understand what is stopping our people from developing our place and turn it into a business hub, whatever you are looking for in the north can be gotten here in our land,” he said.
Atanike also stressed that there is nothing wrong in seeking self determination.
According to him, “There are so many countries in the world that is less populated than the Igbo nation. We are rich; we have gifts, mineral resources and manpower that can sustain us as an independent country.
“Prof. Ango Abdullahi has come out opening to tell the world that he is a staunch supporter and the brain behind the ultimatum given to the Igbo by the northern youths.
“If somebody in the mold of Abdullahi who was preview to the happening in the colonial era and the civil war could give his backing to such a call, I wonder why we should treat the threat with levity.
“People have pitched the federal government against the Igbo nation, there is nothing wrong in us seeking for self determination.
“I am pleading with the Federal Government to listen to the ultimatum given to the Igbo by the Arewa youths to let us go our way”, he said.
“We have been exploited and treated like slaves. We want all our people detained in the course of Biafra agitation to be released”, he said.
Atanike expressed doubts in the peace talk the Federal Government is holding with both leaders of North and South East adding that the meeting will only achieve one aim which is the leaders to protect their interests.