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    Pronounce IPOB A Terror Outfit – Northern Youth Coalition


    By Winifred Ogbebo,

    The coalition of Northern groups has written officially to the United Nations, asking it to intervene by invoking the relevant statutes to which Nigeria is a signatory to pronounce the Indigenous People of biafra (IPOB )  a terror group.

    Urging the international community to proscribe their activities and initiate criminal actions against them, the coalition said it is becoming all the more obvious by the way IPOB and Kanu enjoy massive support from the Igbo back home that the issue of the drive for biafra nation is still a boiling issue, even as it urged the UN to initiate processes for a peaceful referendum as the only option to finally settle the biafran issue.

    The coalition’s position is contained in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman.

    In the statement made available to  LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday in Abuja, the Northern groups said they had already written a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations dated July 12, 2017 and   titled: ‘Request for Urgent Intervention Brought Pursuant To The UN Declaration On Minorities; European Framework Convention; UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous People, Which Was Adopted By The UN General Assembly In 2007 In Resolution 61/295’.

    Abdul-Azeez recalled that in the wake of the Kaduna Declaration where quit notice was given to the Igbo living in the North, the coalition wrote a letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in which it pointed out the necessity of urgent action to curtail Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB’s activities.

    The coalition added that commendably, Osinbajo initiated series of talks with regional leaders and made genuine moves towards ensuring lasting peace and stability.

    Part of the coalition’s statement reads: “We sincerely commend the efforts of the acting President and those regional leaders who cooperated with him in dousing tensions with the aim of creating a conducive environment for meaningful discussions.

    “Also reassuring are the condemnations of IPOB by credible Southern and national leaders who were hitherto silent while the group dangerously pushed Nigeria to the brink. Prominent among these is Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a respected former Nigerian president and by all accounts, a reputable African statesman”.

    According to Abdul-Azeez, the genuine concerns shown by a cross section of the civil society, organised peace movements and other well-meaning Nigerians across board are also reassuring of the collective desire for peace and national stability.

    He, however, stated that despite the efforts by the acting president and responsible national and regional leaders, Kanu and IPOB remain undaunted and have even intensified their violent divisive campaign, which is the main bone of contention.

    The spokesman said on behalf of the coalition of Northern groups, Kanu and IPOB’s continued action is a clear signal that they are committed to breaking away from the Nigerian federation which buttresses its earlier concerns.

    He said the peak of the insolence came when Kanu publicly announced that he would order former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his entire family killed. “Worried by these recent threats, we became concerned that Kanu has finally crossed the boundaries of Nigerian laws and has blatantly breached international laws that specifically frown at the use of terror to achieve a goal.”

    The coalition told the UN that despite Kanu and IPOB declaring full allegiance to a “Republic of Biafra” and their repeated calls for war, not once did any Igbo leader call them to order or even distance himself or herself from them.

    Signed by representatives of 14 coalition groups and copied to several embassies, including the country’s leaders, the coalition’s letter also indicted the current deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who they said pays Kanu courtesy visits as a symbolic show of allegiance to a cause that is unconstitutional and violent.

    The coalition further stated: “Furthermore, neither the Igbo political and cultural leaders,  nor other regional leaders of the North or West,  nor the international community or any religious body ever found it necessary to call these renegade groups to order,  or in the very least,  admonish their leaders to do so.

    “Similarly, none of the Igbo leaders holding various positions in this government ever disowned IPOB or condemned its operations until lately with Governor Rochas Okorocha’s mild condemnation after the Kaduna Declaration by our Coalition. Their attitude suggests, to a large extent, the level to which the IPOB Biafran campaign is supported by all levels of the Igbo leadership”.

    The coalition said when the country was about to ignore IPOB’s hateful and violent campaign, the Southeast Governors Forum recently took a shocking  initial stand through  Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State by which they unequivocally characterised the attitude of Kanu and IPOB as mere “peaceful” agitations.

    The Northern groups said, “Finally,  as we patiently await the decision of the UN and the Nigerian authorities, we reaffirm  our faith in one peaceful Nigeria and restate our stand on nonviolence.”

    The post appeared first on leadership.ng.

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