The Northern Elders Forum has backed calls by the Northern youths for the Igbo to quit the region before October 1 this year.
The spokesman for the NEF, Prof. Ango Abadullahi, in an interview with journalists in Zaria on Friday, said he supported the youths, who asked the Igbo to quit the North before October 1.
Abdullahi had on Friday insisted that Igbo residents in the 19 northern states must leave the region in full compliance with a three-month ultimatum handed down by a coalition of northern groups.
He also condemned the position of Northern Governors’ Forum on the matter.
The NEF’s spokesman, who said he was disappointed by the NGF’s stance on the matter, told journalists in Zaria that it was hypocritical for Igbo to continue to live in other parts of the country and still agitate for Nigeria’s disintegration.
Abdullahi, a former Vice-Chancellor of ABU, said, “I am disappointed in the decision taken by NGF disowning and condemning the agitation by this young agile and progressive youth groups.
“Let me ask, these Northern governors, whom are they representing, are they representing spirits, ghost or people of the North?
“Recently, people from eastern part of this country, specifically Igbo, were busy calling for the Sovereign State of Biafra and from all indication, their leaders, including governors are behind them.”
But in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, as well as the Arewa Consultative Forum on Friday, disagreed.
The Convener of the CNPAPB, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described the three months’ ultimatum given to Igbo to leave the North as youthful exuberance.
He noted that youths in northern Nigeria, perhaps more than anywhere else in the country, were disappointed and frustrated by the level of incompetence displayed by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Junaid said, “I know that this country as is it now is a hell of a difficult place to dissemble. I think all Nigerians need Nigeria and anybody who thinks that somehow others need Nigeria more than they do or that somehow, they imagine that they can blackmail the country into making certain political, economic and other concessions, are making a very serious mistake.
“I am not endorsing what the youths have done; I put it down to youthful exuberance and the reality of the frustration of the North with this government and its economic policies, which are clearly hostile to the North and the incompetence which permeates the government at all levels.
“We have a government of invalids, imbeciles and incompetent cabals, who are mostly members of Buhari’s family, cronies and friends. This is the least competent government in Nigeria.”
He also said, “When people who are inherently reckless like the Igbo see an opportunity like this, it is very difficult to imagine them not taking advantage of that opportunity.
“I hope in the future, saner counsel will prevail. Nigerians, even those Igbo, who imagine that they are indispensable to Nigeria, will realise that we all need one another and the only way is for us to have a competent government and justice arising from the policies of that government.”
On its part, the ACF said it had not changed its position on “appealing for caution over unguarded statements that threaten the unity of Nigeria.”
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, said on Friday that the ACF had nothing more to say on the matter than to stand by its earlier position, which was that it is better to settle grievances in court rather than to breach law and order. Continue reading from source