Prominent northern youth groups on Tuesday, gave the Igbos up till October 1 this year to leave the northern region. The order was contained in a statement issued after a meeting in Kaduna state.
They asked the Igbo residing in the region to “start making plans to leave.” Their order was premised on the shut-down of major towns in south-eastern part of the country on May 30, by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its sponsors.
The northern youths organisations, which had their leaders in attendance, include Arewa citizens action for change, Arewa youth consultative forum, Arewa youth development foundation, Arewa students forum and Northern emancipation network on the Igbo persistence for recession among others.
Abdulazeez Suleiman, one of the leaders, who read the statement on behalf of others said the region was “tired of the marriage”, hence the need for restructuring. He also said the region was calling for steps to facilitate the final dissolution of this “hopeless union” that has never been convenient to any of the parties.
“The persistence for the actualisation of Biafra by the unruly Igbo of south-eastern Nigeria has lately assumed another alarming twist which involved the forceful lockdown of activities and denial of other people’s right to free movement in the south-east by the rebel Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its overt and covert sponsors,” the statement read.
“This latest action and similar confrontational conducts which amount to a brutal encroachment on the rights of those termed as non-indigenous people residing and doing lawful businesses in those areas illegally demarcated and defined as Biafra by the Igbo, are downright unacceptable and shall no longer be tolerated.
“As a first step, since the Igbo have clearly abused the unreciprocated hospitality that gave them unrestricted access to, and ownership of landed property all over the north, our first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbo in any part of northern Nigeria.
“Consequently, officials of the signatory groups to this declaration, are already mandated to commence immediate inventory of all properties, spaces or activity in the north currently occupied by the Igbo for forfeiture at the expiration of the ultimatum contained in this declaration. “With the effective date of this declaration, which is today, Tuesday, June 06, 2017, all Igbos currently residing in any part of Northern Nigeria are hereby served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the east are advised likewise.
“From that date, effective, peaceful and safe mop-up of all the remnants of the stubborn Igbo that neglect to heed this quit notice shall commence to finally eject them from every part of the north. “And finally, all authorities, individuals or groups are hereby advised against attempting to undermine this declaration by insisting on this union with the Igbo who have thus far proved to be an unnecessary baggage carried too far and for too long.”