Attack on southerners in North, a declaration of war, says IYC
• Civil society groups urge restraint
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has warned the northern youths that any attack on southerners in the north would be treated as a declaration of war.A statement by the IYC President, Eric Omare said the Ijaw youths worldwide would retaliate with the appropriate response of an “eye for an eye.”
Omare said the group would align with the position of southern leaders, who warned the northern youths against attacking any person of southern extraction.The warning followed the insistence of the northern youths on the October 1, 2017 quit notice deadline for the Igbo to leave the region or face attacks.
They called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to take decisive steps to address the causes of the tension in the country rather than embarking on talk shows.The statement added that the ongoing consultations with the various regional and ethnic leaders without taking practical steps to address the causes would amount to postponing the evil days.
“The IYC is of the view that Nigerians have deceived themselves enough and it is time to face the reality, which is that the centre can no longer hold, except steps are taken to reconstruct the country to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the different ethnic nationalities that make up the country.”
“It is on record that the southern parts of the country, including some parts of the middle belt have consistently called for a reconstruction of the country to reflect the tenets of federalism. The centre must be allowed to handle only issues that relate to foreign affairs, currency, defence and other issues of national importance,” the group said.
The group cautioned that the opposition of the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy is holding the entire country to ransom in the quest for restructuring. According to the statement, no amount of opposition by the oligarchy could stop restructuring from becoming a reality.
Meanwhile, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has called on the groups that issued the ultimatum to halt their unguarded call.The groups, under the aegis of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Protest to Power Movement (P2P) stated this at a press conference.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa and National Coordinator, P2P, Jaye Gaskia urged other groups who are in support of self-determination to desist from using hate speeches that are capable of provoking violence.
“We call on any groups agitating for separation from Nigeria to discontinue unguarded calls for provocative agitations and verbal attacks that may further intensify the present tension-soaked moment.
“We demand a strict adherence to and respect for the fundamental human rights of every Nigerian citizen to reside and legally conduct business anywhere in the country,” they said.
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