By Bankole Wright
The group, however, pleaded for more time for the Igbo to relocate back to the south.
Some Arewa youth groups had recently issued three months quit notice from the north to Igbo residing there, calling it ‘The Kaduna Declaration’.
Although the call has received widespread criticism by northern governors and stakeholders, spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) Ango Abdullahi, on Friday, expressed support for the youth groups, insisted that the Igbos leave.
In a statement by Emma Powerful, IPOB assured the Arewa groups that its people will heed the warning and leave northern Nigeria.
The statement, as published by The Cable reads, “We the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s leadership worldwide wish to sincerely thank the Arewa Elders Forum (AEF), Arewa Youths and Arewa Consultative Forum for seeing sense in what IPOB has been saying about the need for a referendum to be conducted in Nigeria to decide the fate of the component ethnic nationalities criminally lumped together by the British in 1914.
“Biafrans in general also wish to thank these vocal Northerners for at least having the courtesy to issue advance warning this time before embarking on their routine massacre of Igbos and other Biafrans living in Northern Nigeria; unlike what their fathers did in 1966 when death, destruction and mayhem were unleashed upon unsuspecting innocent civilian populations from the South comprising of mostly Igbo men, women and children.
“Igbo massacres in Northern Nigeria has occurred so many times that it has almost become some sort of an annual sporting activity for blood thirsty Northern youths. That is why we are particularly grateful to Arewa Youths and Elders for having the decency to give us prior notice before the slaughter commences.
“We promise to adhere to your warning to leave Northern Nigeria because a word is enough for the wise. Biafrans and other Southerners should start packing their properties to come down to the South. We also advice the Northern youths and their Elders to keep it on because all they have done is exercise their right to free speech which is not a crime under any law known to man. We are therefore against those calling for the arrest of these Arewa Youths and their Elders.
“It is abundantly evident from the genocidal statements coming from certain influential segments of Northern Nigeria that the British socio-political experimentation and economic fraud we know today as Nigeria, should not have been created in the first place. IPOB is very much aware of the covert blackmail and implied threat inherent in the utterances emanating from Islamic Northern Nigeria.
“Furthermore, the assumption that economic investments of Biafrans in the Northern part of the contraption called Nigeria is an impediment to Biafra restoration project is misguided and most definitely misplaced. This is cheap blackmail designed to trigger rancour among Biafra populations because the North have always assumed and wrongly too, that Igbos will place economic well being over and above their life. This assumption is based on a false premise and one we are determined to prove same as events unfold in the coming weeks and months.
“IPOB under the divine leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is the instrument Chukwu Okike Abiama (God Almighty) is using to restore Biafra, therefore we are not afraid of our enemies, neither will any threat or violence from any quarter deter us. We remain peaceful in our noble quest to restore Biafra but we must caution that we always retain the right as a people to defend ourselves should the need arise.
“The civilised world is aware that we IPOB have been adopting peaceful means to restore Biafra since 2014. It is the Arewa Islamic Northern Nigeria dominated Army, Police, Navy and Civil Defence that has brought torture, killings, massacres and mayhem to communities and populations in the South. Till date, nobody has been held to account despite the existence of a comprehensive Amnesty International report to this effect.
“We are aware that these Northern youths and their sponsors Britain, have perfected plans to begin another round of killing of innocent people as the did in 1966. We advise them not to make this mistake because Britain will no longer protect Islamic Northern Nigeria because in this digital age, the world is watching. Allow Biafrans time to relocate peacefully back to Bafraland, that is all we ask.”