It was gathered that the coalition of northern youths on Thursday ignored the widespread condemnation trailing their three-month ultimatum for south-easterners to leave the North by insisting that those from the South-East must leave Nigeria.
This was as the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, condemned the anti-Igbo ultimatum as an “unwarranted act’’, urging Nigerians to live in peace and avoid anything that would cause disharmony.
Dambazau advised the youths against being instrument of violence, animosity and disharmony in the country, warning that the Federal Government would bring the full weight of the law on any individual or group violating the rights of other citizens.
But the defiant coalition, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Abdulazeez Suleiman, called on the federal government to initiate a process allowing the Igbo to vote in a referendum that will allow them to have an independent state of Biafra.
They however denied considering violence as a means of achieving their eviction notice to the Igbo, accusing “merchants of mischief” of misrepresenting their thoughts.
The coalition claimed that despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, many Nigerians were in support of its position, describing them as people “who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbo”.
The statement reads, “In strict observance of that tradition we never employ violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications.
“This informs why, a majority of discerning Nigerians, not necessarily northerners alone, understood and identified with our express call for the Biafrans to be allowed to actualise their long-held secessionist aspiration.
“We restate that we have never called anybody to violence and that people should discountenance the elements of fear and threat introduced by the distortions of merchants of mischief.
“We wholeheartedly endorse the moves made variously by our leaders to allay those fears and urge people to be peaceful and law-abiding while at the same time resolutely insisting on having the right thing done by allowing the Igbo to have and move to their dream country in accordance with the universal fundamental right to self-determination.
“We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the north will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation.
“Despite the minor distortions that caused some measure of anxiety, we make bold to say that the cheerful responses to our position which flowed through the internet and by way of personal telephone conversations nationally and universally has resonated that peace-loving Nigerians who have been tormented and menaced by the irredentist proclivities of the Igbos are overwhelmingly desirous to put an end to it.
“As we acknowledge this outpouring of patriotic support across the nation, we implore people, particularly our cultured northerners to remain restraint in the face of any provocation from any quarter and to debate intelligently.
“We assure them that we shall be firm and resolute in honestly and painstakingly pursuing what we all know is a noble and just cause without hurting anyone.”
Meanwhile, in a statement by his press secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, in Abuja, Dambazau lamented the spate of calls for separation and called on well-meaning Nigerians to go about their normal activities without any fear.
He said the Federal Government would ensure that citizens were free to go about their normal businesses without harassment or hindrance by any group or persons.
Advising the various ethnic groups in the country to desist from fanning the embers of hate and disharmony, he urged them to adhere strictly to the teachings of good values of religions and cultures that encouraged good neighbourliness, national unity, integration and love for one another.
“I call on all well-meaning Nigerians to go about their normal activities as government would bring to bear the full weight of the law on any individual or group violating the rights of citizens of the country,” the minister said.