As Nigerians react to the three months ultimatum by a coalition of northern youth groups tagged “The Kaduna Declaration” to Igbos residing in any part of northern Nigeria to relocate to their places of origin, Integration Summit Group-Nigeria, a group of Nigerians who believe in broad nationalism and unity of Nigeria over and above social, political, ethnic and religious divides has described the pronouncement as anti-Nigeria and a divisive tendency to disintegrate the corporate existence of the nation.
While suing for peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic nationalities in the country against the backdrop of the group’s pronouncement, the Convener, Integration summit Group-Nigeria, Dr Chris Ekiyor bemoaned the act as a negative tendency calculated at sowing seeds of discord in the minds of a section of the country.
“Section 41, subsection 1 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the protection of the rights of all Nigerians regardless their ethnicity, to reside in any part of the country with no hindrance whatsoever. It is incumbent on all Nigerians to protect one another in any domain they choose to inhabit in the country.”
“As a group of patriotic Nigerians, we condemn the ultimatum on Igbos residing in the northern part of Nigeria as it negates the wishes and aspirations of our founding fathers at independence who toiled day and night to ensure that our country was liberated from the colonial masters’ enclave to become an independent state where our tongues and tribes was irrelevant but rather the strong brotherhood that existed between us”
“This is not the time for such declaration when the nation is passing through a process of re-uniting the federating units and the drive to turn around for good, the untold hardship being experienced by our people due to the economic recession that we have found ourselves in.”
“We must integrate within ourselves to move the nation forward. We cannot afford to fan the embers of disunity in this trying period of our national existence. I call on the northern youths to retrace their step by this pronouncement capable of destabilizing the Nation in the interest of national peace and peaceful co-existence of the various groups in the country”, Dr Ekiyor added.
Meanwhile the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El Rufai has directed the Nigeria police force to arrest all signatories to the so called Kaduna declaration and equally directed his Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to prepare charges of incitement against the leaders of the group.
In the same vein, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, on behalf of the Northern States Governors forum has disowned and distanced themselves from the groups who according to him do not have the mandate of the people of northern Nigeria to make such loud pronouncements of disunity.