Restructuring: Youths threaten to shut down South East •Demand release of detained IPOB members

Posted by Ifeoma Okafor, Awka | 25 September 2017 | 2,153 times

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•Protesting IPOB members

A group under the aegis of Anambra Youth Movement (AYM) at the weekend threatened to liaise with youths from other South East states to shut down the area if the Federal Government refused to heed the call for the restructuring of Nigeria as demanded by a cross section of the society.

In a statement made available by the group’s Coordinator, Comrade Christian Nwakaeze to journalists in Awka, AYM urged the Federal Government to order the release of all detained members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and dialogue with the group on ways of ensuring a lasting peace in the country.

According to Nwakaeze, if right decisions were not employed on the issues on ground, all the groups in the South East would collapse officially into IPOB.

While claiming that IPOB already had 60 percent of AYM as members, supporters and sympathisers, he maintained that AYM was not calling for secession, explaining that a restructured Nigeria through a referendum would go a long way to make everybody understand why IPOB members were making their demands.

The statement read: “There was need for the restructuring to take place before the 2019 general elections, otherwise the youths would boycott the 2019 polls.

“It is unfortunate that those in power who are shouting one Nigeria everyday are even the people who are causing the division through their unpopular decisions.

“We understand that the unlawful declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group was done deliberately to satisfy the wish of the Arewa youths who threatened Nnamdi Kanu.

“It is on record that Shetima, leader of the Arewa youth, said that with the support of his people, he would make sure that Kanu would be rearrested and that he would ensure that Kanu and members of his group were declared a terrorist group.

“Surprisingly, within two days of the threat, the Federal Government sought for Kanu’s arrest and we all thought it was a hoax until the invasion of his house and erroneous declaration of his group as a terrorist by the Nigerian Army who are yet to arrest a single Fulani militia or even Shetima of Arewa youths that was earlier declared wanted.

“It is after this incident that some of us who believe that there is still hope for Nigeria’s unity became more confused. The same Federal Government not long ago sent troops to Niger Delta whose youths are protesting the age-long injustice being meted out to them by government and now they have started killing the non violent IPOB for protesting marginalisation of their people.

“The truth must be told and that truth is that there are two types of citizens in Nigeria, the Northerners who are being sponsored by their elders, and the rest of us. This action by the Federal Government and their military will definitely divide us more than ever as many Igbo are now disillusioned and have vowed to identify with IPOB.

“We are disappointed with the South East governors’ approach to the issue, especially their claim that they have proscribed IPOB activities, which in turn, gave a negative impression of the group."

The group, while condemning the proscription of IPOB by South East governors, said that it was their expectation that the governors would have condemned the mass killings and inhuman treatment meted against their people, saying that governors’ action showed that the zone had a fundamental problem, ranging from selfishness to cowardice.

Continuing, AYM said, “Inviting the military to such a sensitive meeting (in Enugu) was the main reason some of the people in attendance did not have the courage to oppose some of the senseless decisions at the meeting.

“We understand that one of the governors has been promised a running mate slot to a Northern governor for the 2019 presidential election and that very soon, the said South East governor will join the APC.”

They however appealed to Anambra State people not to be carried away by their emotions as the November 18 governorship election approached, urging them to join the youths to choose the right person that would govern the state.

Source: News Express

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