Posted by Matthew Uche, Umuahia | 8 June 2017 | 2,214 times
The Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) has sworn that Ndigbo would never abandon their properties in any part of the country again, especially the N44 trillion assets belonging to Ndigbo residing in the 19 northern states of the country.
OYC made the declaration in a swift response to the ultimatum issued by Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) to Ndigbo residing in the North to leave the region latest by October 1, 2017. AYCF had in a press conference in Kaduna said that “from Tuesday, June 6, 2017, all Igbo currently residing in any part of northern Nigeria are, hereby, served notice to relocate within three months and all northerners residing in the South-East are advised likewise.”
“Our first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of these landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the Igbos in any part of northern Nigeria,” the group had said.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Umuahia Wednesday, OYC, the youth wing of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, urged Ndigbo not to move an inch from the North and called for the immediate arrest of the leader of AYCF, Abdullaziz Shetima, and his cohorts who issued the threat.
OYC expressed outrage over the ACYF ultimatum, describing it “as a security threat and a crime against the Nigerian State,” but said that Ndigbo were not cowards and would not abandon their N44 trillion assets and investments in the North.
Addressing journalists after an emergency session tagged, “Igbo Mandate Against Genocide,” OYC called on Ndigbo resident outside the South East “to stay put wherever they were across the country,” urging them “to get ready to defend themselves in the event of any
provocation and attack by the Arewa youths.” The group, however, advised Ndigbo to be vigilant and report any attacks on them to security operatives.
National President of the OYC (Worldwide), Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, speaking on behalf of the group, said “the ultimatum was a call for war and should be treated as such by security
Declaring that Igbos were not cowards, Isiguzoro said “they (North) are at it again and this is a sad reminder of the civil war,” adding “this is how it started as a joke and before we knew it, a coordinated and simultaneous attack was launched against the Igbos in the North in the 1966 pogrom.
“This is a sad development considering efforts being made to unite this country; this is a sad commentary considering the sacrifices the Igbos have made in this country.”
“We will not leave the North for the Northern Youths after developing the area with assets and business investments worth over N44 trillion. If they are preparing ground for abandoned properties, they have failed,” OYC maintained.
OYC therefore declared: “We, however, wish to state unequivocally that Igbos are not cowards. We are not afraid of Alhaji AbdulAziz Suleiman, Yerima Shetimma (ACYF leaders) and their cohorts.
“Ndigbo want to make it categorically clear that we are ready for them; we cannot be intimidated by his ranting. The era of taking properties belonging to Ndigbo by force is gone. We won’t let that happen again.
“To this end, we are calling on our people in the North not to shift any ground; they should remain where they are; this country belongs to all of us. Any attack on our people shall receive commensurate reaction.”
OYC equally urged Northern Governors and the Northern Elders to dissociate themselves from the threat to the Igbos in their domains, stressing that it would be interpreted to mean that they were working hand in glove with their youths, if they failed to do so.
“This is a drum of war coming from the North and should the Northern leaders fail to act accordingly, we shall be left with no option than to go beyond this stage.
“We call on the northern traditional and religious leaders, headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, to assure Igbos of their safety in the 19 northern states.
“We are calling on the President-General of Arewa Consultative Forum to call Northern Youths to order; they must be compelled to tender unreserved apology to Ndigbo and stop fanning the embers of disunity among Nigerians.”
OYC enjoined the Federal Government and security agencies to assure and provide Ndigbo living in the North of their security and protection, noting that “anything to the contrary means giving a backing to this orchestrated genocidal plot against Ndigbo.”
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