As the call by the Arewa Youth Development Foundation (AYDF) for Nigeria to be peacefully dissolved continues to generate reactions, the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) has joined its voice, describing the call as “a joke taken far,” and "treasonable".
The OYC, which is the youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, poured out its resentments in a statement issued yesterday by its national president, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, saying both the Arewa Youths and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) were worsening the already precarious national situation.
Arewa youths had in calling for the peaceful dissolution of Nigeria also issued a two-week ultimatum for southerners residing in the North to relocate southwards while northerners should abandon their dwellings in the southern parts and move up North.
But the Ohanaeze youths picked holes with such outbursts, which it noted was “uncalled for and unconstitutional,” adding that it was inimical to the survival of the country.
He said it was crystal clear that the leadership of Arewa youths was being misguided and sponsored by fifth columnists to take divisive stance at this critical period when Nigeria is grappling with serious security challenges.
“Our concern about the shameful outing in the palace of Emir of Kano is that the youths of the region who have been notoriously misruled for long by the same people that sent them on the dirty mission should have rather questioned their sponsors on their ignoble roles in bringing the region and Nigeria to its present situation,” the OYC leader said.
Isiguzoro pointed out that “the same people that foisted penury, deprivation and frustration on the innocent talakawas (commoners) of the North are now sending them mischievously on an errand that threatens Nigeria’s unity.
“Our message to the contemporary youths of the North is to resist the attempt of the fifth columnist and merchants of topsy-turvy politics to herd them into an ill-fated mission,” he said.
However, the OYC president noted that the call by Arewa youths could not be said to represent the views of the majority of Northerners as “majority of Nigerians from the Middle Belt are strong architects of a united Nigeria and have demonstrated unequivocal support to the measures presently being taken to address the insecurity problems and other problems of the nation.”
On the threat by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) to interfere with Igbo business interests in the North over perceived maltreatment of northerners in the South-east, the Ohanaeze youth leader said there was no basis for the threat. He said northerners residing in the South-east were at peace doing their various businesses, insisting that there was no threat whatsoever to any northerner in the South-east or Igboland.
He warned the ACF henchmen to watch their utterances and actions in order to avoid plunging Nigeria into further crisis of unimaginable proportions.
“This is a similar approach to the event that culminated to the unfortunate crisis of the middle of late 60s when undue sentiment, emotional outburst and propaganda were allowed to take the better part of reasoning of some people in the North. Later, millions of innocent Igbos and easterners were to pay the supreme sacrifice,” the OYC leader recalled.