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Monday, 12 June 2017

Arewa groups president defends ultimatum, says he won't apologise .

Arewa groups president defends ultimatum, says he won't apologise .

President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, Shettima Yerima, has stood by the statement asking the Igbo to leave the North. 

In an interview with Punch, the youth leader said, “Apology for what? 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.’ Everybody wants to leave Nigeria but nobody moves. Therefore, it clearly means they (Igbo in the North) are in agreement with them (IPOB).

If they have decided to be part of an independent Biafran state, why are they wasting time still living in other people’s land? 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.  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 AU, ECOWA, UN and other international organisations come to their aid. In essence, what we are saying is that if the easterners want a state of Biafra the FG should give them what they want.

We insist that the FG 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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