Arewa, Ohanaeze Youths Meet, Northern Coalition Begins Review of Quit Notice to Igbos

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By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
But as Nigerian leaders met last night to debate the restructuring question, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) met Saturday night with the Northern coalition of youths, with a view to charting a common course for the peaceful co-existence of various groups in all parts of the country.
In the meeting, which took place in Abuja, the northern coalition said it had begun the process of reviewing its demand asking the Igbos to leave the North by October 1, but said it would not back down on its petition to the United Nations asking it to intervene in the affairs of the nation.
While the Northern coalition insisted that the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu be punished for damage done to the psyche of some Nigerians, the Ohanaeze youths dissociated themselves from secessionist agitations, and asked Nigerians to consider such agitations as “perhaps a cry to redress the noticeable imbalance in the composition of the country”.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the Chairman of the Coalition of Northern Youths, Yerima Shettima, who along with others issued the ultimatum in June, said the peace meeting between the two groups led to the formation of a six-member committee which would facilitate another meeting in the South-east.
On the Kaduna declaration of his coalition, Shettima said: “Leaving Nnamdi Kanu to go unpunished is totally unacceptable to us because he has so far done much damage on our psyche and our nation.
“So for us, we think the best we can do is to internationalise this struggle. Behind the background of what we are doing today, most likely in the event of anything falling short of what we agreed, of course we are already in the UN reporting this same character (Kanu).
“That does not stop us from discussing to arrive at a particular conclusion where we can have peace for the country.
“On our previous position, we have not officially withdrawn the quit notice given to the Igbos in the North, but we said it a few days ago that we will review our position and part of that step is what we are discussing now.”
While commending the Ohanaeze Youth Council for a fruitful deliberation, Shettima added: “I thank God we are talking with the recognised body of entire youths organisation in the South-east called Ohanaeze Youth Council that is known everywhere.
“This is a welcome development and we are happy that they have actually sought to get our audience to discuss the way forward out of these uprisings.
“We are glad to get some word coming out from the leadership of Ohanaeze Youth Council specifically in the area of seeking to see us to discuss issues; it means they realised that we are very angry and a lot of things are out of place as a result of their short comings in the sense that if they had called the young man to order, we wouldn’t have gone to this extreme.
“The second one is the assurance given by the president of the council. If I quote him very well, he said, ‘Nnamdi Kanu is just looking for self recognition’, and we became more relaxed and comfortable getting that from him, and the third one is him making efforts to bring MASSOB and IPOB together for us to go into a roundtable discussion. I think it is a welcome development.”
In his briefing, the National President of OYC, Okechukwu Isigusoro, thanked the northern coalition for a fruitful deliberation, adding that his council believes in one Nigeria.
We want to especially thank the Coalition of Northern Groups for accepting to host us in Abuja. Our talks have been very smooth beyond our expectations and we want to appreciate them knowing full well that we thought these talks could have ended in a fiasco or taken a dangerous dimension.
“But the way they have been peacefully handled it shows that they are peaceful people. We commend them for that and also believe that through this dialogue we believe in the future that there will be no boycott of these talks and if followed peacefully, we will bring an end to some of our problems in this county.”
However, in a quick reaction to the statement made by Shettima quoting the Ohanaeze president as stating that Kanu was seeking for recognition, Isigusoro refuted the statement last night, stating that he was quoted out of context.
He said that at no time did he raise any issues on Kanu, IPOB or MASSOB at the meeting.
According to him, his take at the meeting was the positions taken to resolve the issue of quit notice.
He said: “I spoke on the quit notice and how to resolve it for everybody to live in peace. That was all. And a committee was set up. There was never a time I mentioned IPOB or MASSOB in my speech.”
He added that the OYC would never condemn any moves of self-determination by either IPOB or MASSOB and advised the media not to derail the efforts at peace between the Northern coalition of youths and OYC.
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  • Mazi JO

    Please think nationally. Why can’t the youthful consideration be all inclusive? What happens if Afenifere and the rest are present to authenticate the fundamentals of this propensity towards re-assuring peace moves. Or don’t we think they’ll grapple with skepticism watching from the sidelines? Anything we do henceforth should be wrapped in nationalist tendencies; the three colors of our Flag. Mobilise these kids. They cannot afford to repeat our mistakes.

  • Tea

    NIGERIA IS A COUNTRY THAT IS YORKED IN AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE. THANKS TO THE LEADERSHIP STYLE OF GMB NIGERIANS FAULT LINES HAVE BEEN EXPOSED FOR EVEN THE BLIND TO SEE.
    RELIGION AND TRIBALISM REMAINS OUR GREATEST PROBLEM THESE PROBLEMS WILL CONTINUE TO MANIFEST UNDER A DEMOCRACY AS WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO MANAGE AND IMPLEMENT THE 1999 CONSTITUTION WHICH WAS A NORTHERN MILITARY DOCUMENT AND FAVOURS THE FULANI/MUSLIM NORTH TO THE DETRIMENT OF OTHER TRIBES.
    WE MUST REVISIT THE 1963 CONSTITUTION AND BLEND IT WITH THE 2014 CONFERENCE REPORT.
    THE MILITARY COMMAND SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE MUST BE THROWN OUT AND A FEDERATING SYSTEM PUT IN PLACE.
    THESE NORTHERN YOUTHS SHOULD BE CAREFUL AS THE HARDCORE ISLAMIC FANATICS (BOKO HARAM) WHO WANT FULL SHARIA AND NOT THE POLITICAL SHARIA AS INTRODUCED BY YERIMA ARE AT THEIR BACKS, THE SHITES ARE ALSO GETTING READY FOR A FIGHT (AS THE SUNNI DOMINATED NORTH HAS SHOWN THEM WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THEM), THE SOUTH IF ATTACKED WILL DEFINATELY RETALIATE AND THE MIDDLE BELT DOESNT BELIEVE IN ONE NORTH SLOGAN AGAIN AS THEIR KITH AND KIN HAVE BEEN KILLED BY THE SO CALLED NORTHERN FULANI IN S/KADUNA, PLATEAU. MAMBILLA AND BENUE.
    THE FULANI NORTH SHOULD BE CAREFUL AND EMBRACE RESTRUCTURING AS THE ARE THE MOST HATED TRIBE IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY TODAY AND OTHER NIGERIANS ARE TIRED OF PAMPARING THEM. THEY SHOULD BRING IT ON – ENUF IS ENUF.

  • KWOY

    THE OHANEZE YOUTH COUNCIL OR WHATEVER THEY CALL THEMSELVES ARE REPRESENTING NO ONE BUT THEMSELVES IN THESE NEGOTIATIONS WITH TERRORISTS!

  • AZZO

    The whole thing smirks of down right irresponsibility and a very lackadaisical approach by government in these matters. How can Nnamdi Kanu be released on bail with bail conditions then he goes ahead and violates all conditions of the bail and yet he is not taken back to prison custody? That not being enough, who is this arrogant marsh melon brain Shettima and his group to openly come out and give quit notice to a group of Nigerians? Who is the idiot? Why has he not been arrested and prosecuted? Is he above the law? Where is the lame duck security apparatus when this meeting was to hold, and held in Abuja? On whose account did it hold? If it had turned violent, who would Nigerians have held responsible? There is just an absolute rascality and astronomical height of irresponsibility with the present government. The government is simply not in charge in running the affairs of the country and as a result everybody is now in charge. Once you can threaten or be perceived to be a threat, then obviously you are in charge and above the law. It is a shame.

  • Okwuchukwu David

    Those that makes peaceful change impossible,makes violent change inevitable. Quote Atiku Abubaka.

  • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

    Arrant Stupidity!

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  • Bayo_Bamiduro

    It is good news these talks are coming up. But the clouds are still overcast. No time to waste, October is less than eighty days away. And November 8 will tell who control public space in the south east, KANU or ohaneze or the politicians. What does the North want? Some section are taken on the Igbo for acquiescing and abandoning the space to separatist KANU; some are quarreling with Yoruba for allegedly sponsoring recalcitrant Fayose and Fani Kayode against Buhari and the North, most North want no restructuring but that the parasitic living on the south should continue while the hopeless minority seem supportive of restructuring.

  • Toby

    Jungle!