The apex umbrella for the Igbos, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that the North should not drive Ndigbos out of Nigeria.
The reaction came barely 24 hours after the coalition of Northern youths called on Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate the exit of the South-East from Nigeria, on Monday.
The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke to exclusively to Punch, said Ohanaeze insisted on the restructuring of the country, and not secession.
Stressing that the Northern youths lacked the mandate to speak for the Igbos, Ibegbu noted that the Arewa groups were trying to provoke another war in the country.
Ibegbu stated: “In the first place, I want to thank the Acting President for the role he is playing in this situation. He is a peacemaker, and he has shown himself to be conversant with the dynamics of leadership.
“The Acting President, has told all the parties to allow peace to reign. Igbos are peaceful people; so, we will abide by what he said. 

“We are conscious of what the Acting President told the Igbo leaders and the Traditional Rulers, when they visited the Presidential Villa. Therefore, we will not be drawn into taking issues with these Northern youths; they are people who have shown themselves to be lawbreakers and warmongers

“The activities of these Arewa youths, have shown that there is more than meets the eye, to the ultimatum they gave the Igbos in the North. They simply want to drag the country into another war.”
Ibegbu stressed that agitation for separation, was not peculiar to the Igbos, as claimed by the Arewa youths.
The Ohanaeze Spokesman, observed that the agitation in the South-East, was largely a protest against marginalisation, rather than a wish for secession.
Ibegbu added: “That some individuals are pushing for self-determination in the South-East, does not mean that the Igbos want to secede. The real situation is a protest against marginalisation.
“We should not forget that even now as we speak, the Boko Haram sect is still canvassing Islamic rule in the North, using violent means – that is a form of agitation for secession.

“So, why should the Northern youths ignore the log in their eyes, to bother about the speck in another person’s eyes; why the venom against the Igbos?”


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