A call on the Federal Government to support a process allowing the Igbos to vote in a referendum creating the way for actualizing the much-touted Independent State of Biafra has been made by the Coalition of Northern Youths.
The Coalition, which enlists the Arewa Citizens Action for Change; Arewa Youth Consultative Forum; Arewa Youth Development Foundation; Arewa Students Forum; and the Northern Emancipation Network, on Thursday, made a statement in response to the widespread criticism following its earlier issuance of a three-month ultimatum to the Igbos residing in the northern part of the country to vacate their residences.
The official document signed by the spokesman of the Coalition, Abdulazeez Suleiman read: “We urge the Federal Government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency to initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. Let them go. We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as the ECOWAS, AU and the UN to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and with it the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation”.
The group denied its earlier statement saying it was misunderstood and there is need for explanation.
“We are today compelled to make this further statement to clarify our stand on some issues that trailed the Kaduna Declaration made on Tuesday. After meeting to review the fallout of that Tuesday’s declaration, our groups have arrived at the following fundamental observations: That some elements have for reasons best known to them, mischievously distorted the intent of our original script by alluding to such words as ‘violence,’ ‘threat,’ ‘war,’ and ‘mass action’ to it.
“We find this mischievous because as cultured, thoroughbred northerners we have never anywhere and at any time, under whatever circumstances, called anybody to violence as a means of conflict resolution. In strict observance of that tradition we never employ violence as a means of pursuing our interest and at every opportunity, we opt for peaceful engagements and implore people to eschew violence in all its ramifications,” the official statement further added.