Igbo World Union has called on the Federal Government and the various security agencies not to treat with levity the recent threats and inciting remarks by the Arewa Consultative Forum and the Arewa Youth Development Foundation against the interest of southerners living in the North.
The National President of IWU, Chief Mishak Nnanta, in an interview with The Punch in Umuahia, said if no punitive measures were taken by the Federal Government to curb the excesses of the ACF and some pro-northern groups masquerading as the mouth-piece of the North, their inflammatory utterances could spark off civil unrest in Nigeria.
Recall that while AYDF had penultimate week during a protest at the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido, given all southerners resident in the North two weeks to quit. Sequentially, the ACF last Thursday in Kaduna threatened to destroy the investments of Ndigbo in the North, if the alleged maltreatment of northerners in the East were not halted immediately.
The northern youths also gave all northerners living in the South two weeks to return home.
But IWU said it would be a serious negligence and a costly mistake with grave consequences if the Federal Government should dismiss “those combustible vituperations” as empty threats, considering the antecedents of the sources.
According to IWU, incessant sensational comments coming from “the ACF and its likes amount to an invitation to anarchy —which must be resisted now before it is too late.”
IWU urged the Federal Government to immediately commence treasonable proceedings against the ACF before the group and their sponsors plunged Nigeria into chaos.
“This is a similar approach to the event that culminated to the unfortunate crisis of the late 60s, when undue sentiment, emotional outburst and propaganda were allowed to take the better part of the reasoning of some people in the North.
“Later, millions of innocent Igbos and easterners were to pay the supreme sacrifice. The truth is that there is no single threat to any northerner in the South-East or Igboland. They are here doing their normal businesses and unmolested by anybody.”
IWU defended the action of some South-East governors, who insisted that northerners in their states should have identity cards, saying the action was sequel to the escalation of security challenges in the country, particularly the recent infiltration of the South-East by some elements suspected to be Boko Haram members.
“Do the Arewa people want the South-East governors and people to keep quiet in the face of Boko Haram threat to the zone?” IWU queried.
IWU noted with shock that “at a time Nigeria was passing through serious security breaches, some misguided youths under sponsorship by fifth columnists could be making divisive calls that are inimical to their fatherland.”
The Igbo group accused the Arewa youths of being used by “some disgruntled elements,” who did not wish the country well and were ready to derail Nigeria’s young democracy.
IWU also urged Nigerians to resist any plot by any group or region to destabilise the country. Punch