Suspension of quit notice by Arewa youths not real, say southern leaders


• Urge non-indigenes in north to leave before Oct 1
Some southern leaders rose from their meeting in Enugu yesterday with a call on non-indigenes residing in the northern part of the country to return home, saying the suspension of the October 1 quit notice by Arewa youths is not real.

The leaders under the aegis of the Southern Nigeria Forum (SNF) also called on the Federal Government to implement the resolutions of the 2014 confab and restructure the federation along the lines of the 1963 Republican Constitution before January next year if it hopes to conduct an election as a united country in 2019.

The meeting was attended by former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife; woman activist and the spokesperson for the Niger Delta Self-Determination Movement (NDSDM), Mrs. Aniko Briggs; Adeoti Adeniyi from south-west; the immediate past Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nworgu; the Coordinator, Eastern Prayer Rally, Bishop Obi Onubogu; and the Chancellor, Anglican Diocese of Awgu/Aninri, Ven Anene Nzelu, among others.

Briggs, who led the delegation of the south-south to the meeting, accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of not doing enough to protect the unity of Nigeria, stressing that his actions seriously suggested that he is tilting towards those clamouring for the disunity of the country.

“Otherwise, why would he sit and watch certain persons threaten the existence of others and still come back to say they have suspended their threat? They did not even say they are withdrawing the threat, but suspension. Who are they to issue the threat in the first instance?”

Briggs wondered why some northern leaders should be demanding the re-arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu and their call receiving the backing of the Federal Government by the recent suit filed by the attorney general of the federation.

Ezeife stated that the current turmoil in the country was a consequence of lopsided appointments and actions of the past and current administrations. He said he had earlier warned that the action of the Buhari administration would fuel agitations in parts of the country.

The former governor said it was the height of oppression for any group to ask others to quit the country on account of agitating for justice, fairness and equity. In a statement by the group’s Country Administrator, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, Zonal Secretary Ogubuike Ibeagi and Zonal Administrator Chika Igbokwe, it asked the government to deploy the same military action to tackle Boko Haram and cattle herdsmen causing mayhem in the southern part of the country.

The forum demanded an immediate action on the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan, Warri-Calabar, and Enugu-Onitsha-Owerri highways. It called for the deregulation of the production of electricity and rail transportation in the country.

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