Barring any last minute change of mind, the Coalition of Northern Youth
Groups (CNYG) will today suspend a clause in its Kaduna declaration,
otherwise known as ‘quit notice’ issued Nigerians of the Igbo extraction
to leave the 19 Northern states by October 1, LEADERSHIP gathered
A source who is privy to the activities of the
coalition told this paper that the Northern youths have concluded plans
to announce the suspension of the ‘quit notice’ at an international
press conference in Abuja today.
According to the source who
preferred not to be mentioned in print, the CNYG’s decision to withdraw
the quit notice followed series of meeting with numerous stakeholders.
said the final decision to withdraw the quit notice was taken since
last week at a meeting between the leadership of the coalition and seven
prominent Northern elders.
“At the meeting which took place last
week Wednesday, the Northern elders persuaded the Arewa youths to
withdraw the quit notice for the sake of national interest, in order
that the country be kept as one”, the source added.
recalls that at the height of the tension generated by the quit notice
issued the Igbos, the Arewa youths were engaged in series of meetings
with eminent stakeholders in the country in frantic moves to prevail on
them to rescind their decision.
The stakeholders who invited the
coalition for a meeting include eminent Northern traditional rulers, the
Northern Governors’ Forum led by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno
State, the Directorate of State Security, the National Peace Committee,
the Northern Elders Forum, several Igbo leaders and cultural groups,
including Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youths Worldwide and the Eze Ndigbo in all the
19 northern states.
Also, a position paper by the coalition
titled, ‘General Assessment and Possibility of Review of the Kaduna
Declaration and a letter it wrote to the Vice President exclusively
obtained by our correspondent confirmed the decision by the northern
youth groups to withdraw the quit notice.
In the position paper, the
CNYG said the decision to withdraw the quit notice is tied to a set of
demands which it had articulated for the attention of the National Peace
Committee, the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Northern Elders
Forum (NEF) for onward transmission to the presidency.
conditions attached include the immediate re-arrest of the
self-appointed leader of the indigenous people of biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi
Kanu, who breached his bail conditions.
According to the
coalition, the strange quit notice, issued on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 in
Kaduna, was in response to the breakaway agitation by Igbos under the
auspices of IPOB led by Kanu.
The CNYG noted in the paper that they
were at different times prevailed upon by stakeholders to reconsider
their stance in the interest of national security and unity.
the position paper, CNYG recalled the four grounds on which it based its
decision to issue the ‘Kaduna Declaration as follows: “The Igbo’s
arrogant attitude of continuing affront on the peace of Nigeria, spewing
hatred and heaping insults on others and expecting everyone else to
stoop condescendingly to this brazen affront.
threat, insult, violence and open call for war on all other tribes and
regions that has become the hallmark of IPOB’s Biafran agitation based
on fake and exaggerated claims of marginalization, is, to put it mildly,
“No reasonable standard allows a people to
defer with the universally recognized path of civility and opt for
violent campaigns and hate summons on a mere perception of
marginalization anywhere in the world.
“At one time or another,
other parts of Nigeria have also made similar complains of
marginalization but followed it up in civilized democratic manner as
against the Igbo violent option”, it said then.
Kaduna State government swiftly reacted to the controversial decision of
the Arewa Youths by ordering the arrest of their leaders who made the
pronouncement, the order was never effected by the Kaduna State Police
Command, a situation that further aggravated exchange of words between
some Southern and Northern leaders.
Also, the federal government
had initiated various peace moves as championed by the then acting
president, Osinbajo, with series of meetings with leaders of thought
from the North and the Southeast in order to douse the tension raised by
the Kaduna Declaration.
Meanwhile, the letter dated Thursday, August
17, 2017 by the Arewa Youths intimating Osinbajo of their decision to
suspend the ‘quit notice’ to Igbos today, which was obtained by
LEADERSHIP yesterday was signed by the coalition’s chairman, N.A.
“We have resolved to announce at an open air
international press conference on Thursday, August 24, 2017 in Abuja the
definite suspension of the relocation clause contained in the Kaduna
Declaration”, CYNG told Osinbajo in the letter titled, ‘Update on The
Kaduna Declaration and Commending Your Excellency’s Effort at
Maintaining National Security and Peace’
The Arewa Youths also demanded that seven conditions must be met as necessary to the definite suspension of the quit notice.
conditions include to allow the Igbos and support them to hold a
referendum to decide their future, either as Nigerians or as biafrans,
in view of the fact that the population of the Igbos that supports
Biafra is far larger than the few who seem to be against it.
coalition noted that by virtue of Nigeria being a signatory to the
various international conventions that entrench the right of a people to
self-determination, it was only proper for Nigerian authorities to
reflect that right in the ongoing constitution review so as to end the
deception that Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable.
stated: “If for any reason a referendum cannot be held for the moment,
we insist the Igbo both in the Southeast and in other parts of Nigeria
be made to discard totally any idea of Biafra and to show practical
actions to prove that they believe in one Nigeria.
political and religious leaders including elected and other office
holders should openly denounce Biafra and declare loyalty to one Nigeria
by doing away with all symbols and flags of Biafra and replacing them
with recognized Nigerian symbols.
“In collaboration with law
enforcement agencies, a careful, lawful and purposive search should be
conducted of all suspected premises in the North in which IPOB
sympathizers might be amassing arms. This is necessary because since the
declaration of war by IPOB, there had been cases of interception of
caches of arms concealed and smuggled into some parts of northern
“Immediate steps should be taken for the rearrest of
Nnamdi Kanu and his appropriate prosecution; total closure of the open
drug markets operating in Northern Nigeria and the implementation of the
NDDG using the initial channel of distribution, and lastly
demand that the federal government comes up with clear laws on hate
speech, even if the Igbos leave Nigeria, this law should remain to
contain other individuals or groups whose way of agitation is to engage
in hate speech capable of disrupting peace and harmony”.