Association of South East Town Unions on Friday called the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum and all the stakeholders in the North to call their youths to order over the threat for Igbo residents to leave the region before October 1, 2017.
A statement signed by Chief Emeka Diwe, National President and Dr Innocent Oneubuya which was issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital stated that such threat portends great danger for national security and unity.
The statement read in part “such Declaration portends great danger to national security and is capable of worsening the already fragile security situation in the country. The Igbo have done nothing to deserve such threat to their lives and property. We have never killed nor threatened to kill anybody. In the context of Nigeria’s current challenges, we believe that any misgivings held by the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria can be sorted out amicably”.
The Association asserted that the Igbo Observed a sit-at-home on May 30,2017, in memory of the Biafra agitators who died during the Civil War and recently was not reasonable enough for the Northern youths to threaten the people of South East who were living and doing businesses in Northern Nigeria.
According to it, the Igbo people in line with their culture had great respect for the dead.
“The Igbo Nation observed a day of mourning in remembrance of over three million Igbos that were killed in the Civil War (1967-1970), should not be a reason for Northern Youths to declare that the Igbo should leave Northern Nigeria, latest October 1, 2017. It is our culture to honour the dead. The Sit-at-Home was necessitated by our consciousness to observe the mourning in the most peaceful manner.
We therefore, with due respect, call on the Arewa Consultative Forum and other relevant Stakeholders in Northern Nigeria to timely call these Youths to order. We believe they have the wisdom and capacity to tame the exuberance of the Youths. No one stands to gain from the unimaginable consequences of such threat if eventually executed. A peaceful solution, no matter how expensive, is cheaper than the smallest war”, the statement observed.
The group equally appealed to Igbo Leaders and Stakeholders to refrain from issuing any inflammatory statements, adding that “An eye for an eye will make all of us go blind”.