By Sagir Ibrahim
Sequel to its demands for the suspension the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has once again called for not only the immediate suspension of the review process, but also called on the National Assembly to kickstart the process of a referendum to legitimize the secession of Biafra from Nigeria.
The Group while addressing journalists at a press conference in Abuja said it has become necessary to fast track the process of the referendum to save the nation from another civil war.
Spokesperson of the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who gave the remarks stated that “the mindless violence and extremist terrorist actions perpetrated by IPOB and its followers in the South-East and the South-South have therefore, made it impossible for us to remain indifferent or silent in the face of such extreme provocations and insistent drive towards civil strife in the country.
“Today, everyone can see that the diabolical scheme planned and exhibited in the actions and clamours of IPOB, supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the pliant and affrighted Igbo elites, politicians, traditional rulers, business persons, and the larger population of this ethnic group has pushed Nigeria to the precipice,” he said.
He however added that “we are convinced that this renewed violent determination of the Igbo to see through the secession of the South-East from Nigeria is now real and cannot be avoided or deferred any longer without terrible consequences.
In order to avoid such mishaps and unnecessary devastation on all sides, particularly the South-East whose leaders and agitators are now bent on driving it over the brink into a catastrophe, CNG is of the view that resort to available means of actualising the separation of the South-East from the rest of Nigeria is today a vital task that must be undertaken by all.
“In order to prevent a descent into another civil war at this day and age, and to forestall mass killings, untold sufferings and atrocities, the CNG has committed to the call for a referendum that will finally separate the South East from Nigeria.”
“In this connection, we are hoping the NASS will come up with a framework to be agreed upon in the course of the referendum and its final implementation in the South-East or any enclave that wishes to secede from Nigeria.”
The spokesperson however added that once the secession is done, it becomes permanent and members of the actualised state would be expected to leave the country.
“All identified indigenes (Igbos) of the enclave or entity that called for secession (South East) must leave the territory of Nigeria and assemble in their designated enclave for the purpose of the exercise.
The outcome of the referendum shall be final, irreversible and shall not be reviewed or reconsidered for any other reasons.
“Citizens of the break-away enclave shall be deprived of any automatic rights to return to the territory of the rump Nigeria, or to be admitted to live in any of its parts.
Abdul-Azeez called on Northerners in the South East to remain calm and refrain from reacting negatively to any form of harassment or violent approach.
“We are aware that all this while, the North continued to bear the brunt of the violent agitations for secession with equanimity, stoical calm and resignation.
“In spite of this studied and dignified reserve of the North and refusal by its people to engage in altercations with these self-appointed enemies of Nigeria and antagonists of the North, no stone is being left unturned by these people to see that the North is goaded into reacting.
“Therefore, as the CNG recommits to the pursuit of a final constitutional separation with Biafra, we urge the North to remain the bulwark of respect, integrity, dignity, decorum, tradition, decency, morality, civilization, etiquette, good behavior, politeness, accommodation, and all other positive traits.”