The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on the northern leaders to let the Igbos have their Biafra Republic in order to avert another civil war and bloodshed in the country. According to Coalition of Northern Groups, the level of anger elicited by the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its sponsors at home and in the Diaspora has reached the inevitable point where the Igbo must be separated from Nigeria.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of Coalition of Northern Groups, Nastura A. Shariff, stated this in a seven page letter titled: “Alert on the unfolding scenario for destabilization of Nigeria” and addressed to heads of Northern leaders.
According to the letter and I read; “We address this letter to you the Northern Leaders with a deep sense of patriotism and concern for a strong and prosperous northern region in the context of the current Nigerian nation with respect to both historical and current trends and the underlying character of the Igbo people of the South East.
We address you, Sir, consciously believing that as a critical stakeholder in the affairs of the northern society, you will accept and treat this as a warning from history which may repeat itself, according to Karl Marx, once as a farce and twice as a tragedy.
It is instructive to recount that the Igbo have benefited more than any other tribe in terms of economic monopoly and are the most accommodated and tolerated of all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. They have persisted in spiteful and vile threats on the whole nation as a catalyst for the kind of violence that the country faced in 1966 following the first-ever military insurrection by their kith.
Setting the protocol for the unfolding agenda, the 1966 coup decapitated the Prime Minister and the political leadership of the Northern and Western regions, leaving the zenith of Igbo leadership at the federal level and the Eastern region intact.
Since that time, the Igbo have continued to intermittently taunt and rebel against the Nigerian State, demanding to secede and form an independent country called Biafra which was among the key elements that culminated in the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970 that resulted in colossal death and destruction.
Decades after, Nigeria is again witnessing the resurgence of separatist agitations, especially by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its ilk, as strategies employed to achieve the results that the coup of the First Republic failed to realize.
The scene began with the regrouping of the Igbo to launch a brazen, though relatively decent campaign for Biafra under the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
This was eventually hijacked by another group called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu whose violent campaign went beyond public lectures to the spread of xenophobic, hateful war messages, targeting the Nigerian state and other non-Igbo ethnic groups.
Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB’s activities grew exponentially, ranging from ordering people of other regions out of the South East – particularly northerners, to open declaration of amassing of arms to fight the Nigerian government.
In the light of the observations and inferences drawn above, the Coalition of Northern Groups hereby arrives at the following inevitable positions;
- That with the dimension taken by the Biafran agitation that involves attacks and destruction of public utilities, national security assets and personnel, and violence against fellow Nigerians from other parts of the country particularly the North, it has become no longer reasonable to expect us to continue having the Igbo as a federating partner.
The fact that the strength of the Igbo agitation rests on youth who are mainly below the ages of 50, with diseased mindsets induced by their forefathers and encouraged by their political, cultural and religious leaders to take up arms against the Nigerian state and northerners, confirms that the nation’s unity is definitely none negotiable.
It is therefore unreasonable for those older Nigerians who are mostly above 70 to insist that the unity of Nigeria is sacrosanct whereas the people executing the dangerous Southeast secession agenda are almost entirely below 50.
Committed to constitutionalism, peace, security, fair play, decent patriotism, love of our country and fellow citizens and respect for elders, the Coalition of Northern Groups hereby urges you as respected leaders of the North to act to get the Nigerian state and other critical stakeholders and international players to accept the reality that the only remaining option to avert a civil war and bloodshed is for the Igbo to be allowed to have their Biafra Republic,” the statement concluded.
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