Quit Notice On Biafrans: Arewa Youths President Insists On Ultimatum, No Apologies

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum,
AYCF, Shettima Yerima, has maintained that the
statement issued by the Coalition of Northern Groups
on Tuesday asking the Igbo to leave the North was to
help them achieve their Biafra faster.

Yerima added that he has no apology for issuing the
quit notice that has received so much condemnation
from all over the country.
In an interview with Punch, the youth leader
maintained that he has done nothing wrong in trying
to help Igbo people get their much need country.
He said,

“Apology for what? And exactly what
part of the statement are you
referring to? The Coalition of
Northern Groups, after due
consultation came up with a position
as regard the disposition of the
Indigenous People of Biafra.
“Our position is very clear: we have
the intention of helping the Igbo to
get the international attention they
want so that they can leave Nigeria
in peace.
“At no time did we advocate
violence or make any attempt to
incite anyone in the North or any
other part of the country, to engage
in violence against any tribe.

Asked why they issued the three months ultimatum,
he explained,

“Yes; because by then they would
have had a referendum to decide
whether they want to be part of
Nigeria or they want to have an
independent nation of their own.

“If after the three months they
succeed in getting a referendum in
having an independent state of
Biafra, what business do they have
again in the North?

“They should go back to their Biafra.
We did not ask them to go. They said
they want to go. They are the ones
demanding for their own
independent nation and we said ‘OK,
we will help you.’
“I should add that the silence of the
Igbo in the North concerning the call
by IPOB for a state of Biafra
indicates that they are in support of
the agitation – it is what we term ab
initio, as conspiracy of silence.

“They have agreed to have their own
nation; then they should go – IPOB
is speaking for them. If not, they
should have come out to say, ‘No,
IPOB does not represent us. We do
not want to be part of the Biafra
being called by IPOB.’

“They didn’t say that. We are all
living witnesses to the Biafran
agitation. Everybody wants to leave
Nigeria but nobody moves.
Therefore, it clearly means they
(Igbo in the North) are in agreement
with them (IPOB).

“It is not our intention or plan to
push them out of the North by force
– no, that’s not our intention. We
won’t do that. We are only
encouraging them to leave. If they
have decided to be part of an
independent Biafran state, why are
they wasting time still living in other
people’s land?

“They should go to their region if
they want to go; we will help them
to leave. They should leave. But if at
the end of the referendum and they
vote to remain as part of Nigeria,
we are willing to receive them back.

“Our declaration is by no means a
call for violence. By upbringing and
orientation, as northern youths we
are not inclined to violence. We
believe in peaceful resolution of
conflicts.

“We will continue to help them to
the extent that their voice would be
heard in the international
community. We will help them to
ensure that the African Union, the
Economic Community of West
African States, the United Nations
and other international
organisations come to their aid.
“There was a referendum in the
United Kingdom; was there any
bloodshed there? In essence, what
we are saying is that if the
easterners want a state of Biafra the
Federal Government should give
them what they want.

“Is that asking for too much? We
insist that the Federal Government
should organise a referendum for
them to choose whether they want
to remain a part of Nigeria or not;
let them vote for or against.”

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