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IPOB rejects quit notice withdrawal, urges Igbo to leave North

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IPOB, IPOB rejects quit notice withdrawal, urges Igbo to leave North

The Indigenous People of Biafra [IPOB] has rejected the withdrawal of the quit notice issued to Igbo in the northern part of the country by the Arewa youths.

The Arewa youths, under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Groups, had ordered all the Igbo residing in the North to vacate the region before October 1, 2017.

But, at a press conference attended by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in Abuja on Thursday, the Arewa youths said they had withdrawn the quit notice.

The group, which announced the decision through its spokesperson, Abdulaziz Suleiman, also said it would continue to pursue “petitions to the United Nations and the Federal Government calling for appropriate sanctions against Nnamdi Kanu, other IPOB leaders and their sponsors in addition to labelling them a terror group.”

However, reacting to the development, IPOB described the withdrawal of the quit notice as ‘inconsequential’.

Read: Federal Government want Mazi Nnamdi Kanu back to prison

Speaking through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB asked the Arewa youths to ‘stick to the quit notice’, if they had any ‘honour’.

The group equally urged all Igbo and other southerners resident in the core North to discountenance the withdrawal of the notice and return home.

IPOB noted that history had shown that the withdrawal of the notice did not mean that Igbo lives and property were no longer endangered in the North.

Powerful stated, “It is inconsequential to IPOB whether the ‘quit notice’ was rescinded or not because it will in no way impact the pace and direction of our effort to restore Biafra.

“Threats don’t have any effect on us, so our advice to the Arewa North is to please stick to the October 1 deadline or else they have no honour.”

The pro-Biafra group alleged that the ‘quit notice’, which it described as an incitement to genocide, was endorsed by the Northern political leaders.

“The presence of a serving governor and senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the supposed press briefing confirms what we have always known that the incitement to genocide, which is what the ‘quit notice’ is all about, has the blessing of the Arewa political class.”

Just as the Arewa youths had insisted on the re-arrest of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB also urged the Federal Government to arrest leaders of the Northern group.

“If President Muhammadu Buhari is at all serious about clamping down on hate speech, he should arrest those behind the ‘quit notice’ along with their sponsors,” IPOB said.

Arewa youths are cowards, says MASSOB

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, has described the withdrawal of the quit order as “an open display of cowardice and political impotency.”

MASSOB said it was better not to declare a war one couldn’t win than to threaten and retreat.

In a statement issued on Friday, MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, stated that the Hausa couldn’t withstand the Igbo without the support of the Middle Belt people.

The group alleged that the Hausa people had always used the people of the Middle Belt as stooges and tools to advance their anti-Igbo cause.

MASSOB warned that any attempt to arrest or harass Kanu will “bring a quicker platform for Biafra’s actualisation and restoration.”

Herdsmen must leave – MBRF President

The Middle Belt Renaissance Forum, on the other hand, said it was not ready to withdraw the quit notice to Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt region.

Leader of the group, Jones Alfa, said that the circumstances surrounding their action were different from that of the Arewa youths.

Alfa explained that Fulani herdsmen over the years had wreaked much havoc in the region and expressed concern that despite the killings and maiming of innocent people by herdsmen, “no one has been arrested and prosecuted.”

He said, “If you are conversant with the happenings in the Middle Belt region, you will agree that there is no basis for withdrawing the quit notice.”

“Every part of the Middle Belt region has witnessed and continue to witness killings and maiming of innocent people by the herdsmen.”

OPC warns over eviction threat to Yoruba

A pan-Yoruba group, the Oodua People’s Congress, has called on leaders and stakeholders in the southern part of the country to caution the Niger Delta Agitators over its threat of eviction of the Yoruba people resident in the region.

The OPC warned that the backlash of such move might not be palatable.

The NDA was widely reported in the media earlier in the week to have threatened to evict the Yoruba from the Niger Delta region.

Calling for caution over the threat, the OPC in a statement issued on Friday, said it “could deflate the robust relationship between the South-West and South-South.”

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Otunba Gani Adams, the OPC said the threat issued by the NDA’s leader, John Duku, was the second of such in recent time, hence a call to southern leaders and stakeholders to caution the group.

“We know that the position of the militants may not reflect that of their leaders. There is a need for them to speak out against the move of the group,” the OPC said.

The group also condemned what it called the “emerging systematic war against freedom of speech in the country and an indirect clampdown on the media” by agencies of the Federal Government, warning that Nigeria should not be dragged back into the military era.

Quick Notice: Arewa Youths make U-turn, say Igbo can now stay

However, Duku has now said that the militants may withdraw its quit notice issued to northerners and Yoruba living in the area.

He said on Friday that the group was still consulting and would likely issue a statement after the meeting of the various militant leaders on Saturday (today) or Sunday.

Describing the northern youths’ withdrawal of their quit notice to Igbo people living in the North as a welcome development, Duku, said, “If majority say we should withdraw, we will. We have our demands; there are demands which the government has not done any of them.”

Punch

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