The northern groups which issued the quit threat on Tuesday, have defended their actions as they urge the Federal Government to begin the process of actualizing the South-East’s clamour for Biafra.
The five groups, in a statement by their spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, insisted on their ultimatum to the Igbo to move out of the 19 northern states.
The groups berated el-Rufai and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, for not supporting their cause, saying the two governors took sides because of their “blind ambition for the vice-presidency.”
Speaking on behalf of the youth leaders, Suleiman said:
“We are disappointed by the treacherous positions assumed by governors Nasir el-Rufai and Kashim Shettima, who, in pursuit of their blind ambition for the vice-presidency, chose to side with the secessionist Igbo against the interest of peace-loving Nigerians.
“The governors are known to be waiting in the wings for Mr. President to die, so they can further their plots to seek the Presidency.
“We are irked by the hordes of lies issued by Shettima, ostensibly on behalf of the 19 northern governors, in which he referred to us as faceless. Shettima has disconnected from reality.”We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as ECOWAS, the AU (African Union) and the UN (United Nations) to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and, with it, the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation.
“We urge the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. Let them go.”
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum said on Thursday that it was not a party to the coalition’s decision, adding that the ACF stood by its earlier statement.