Members of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) and the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) have resolved to hold a meeting in Nigeria’s south-east on a date soon to be announced in a bid to forge unity among the respective ethnic groups.
The meeting is coming after weeks of tension arising from a threat issued by an Arewa youth group which supposedly ordered all persons of eastern extraction to vacate the northern region before October 1, 2017.
The OYC and the CNG held a joint meeting at the weekend where the leadership of the 2 youth groups revealed that they had equally set up a 6-man committee to iron out the modalities for lasting peace before the expiration of the supposed ultimatum.
Chairman of the Northern youth group, Yerima Shettima and his Ohanaeze counterpart, Mazi Okechukwu Isigusoro, both told newsmen that they had fruitful discussions.
Shettima, however, warned that Arewa youths had not officially withdrawn the quit notice while adding that his group would have nothing to do with the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, he insisted must never go unpunished.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) led by Uchenna Madu has condemned the call by the Arewa Youths group for IPOB to be labelled as a terrorist group.
MASSOB National Director of Information, Mr Edson Samuel, in a statement on Sunday described the call by the Arewa youths as a display of ignorance, and the inability to distinguish between terrorism and self-determination.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the ‘Rights to self-determination,’ and so, the attempt to label IPOB a terrorist body is laughable and unrealistic. The UN is made up of professional, learned and educated gentlemen who cannot be pushed by sentiments of these ignorant people,” Samuel said.
The Sun reports that MASSOB maintained that the Arewa Youths were being sponsored by northern politicians desperate to hold on to power, and warned such persons to mind their utterances as the Igbo and ‘Biafrans’ could not be intimidated.