A Northern pressure group under the auspices of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has berated Igbo leaders for owing up to the violence in the South-East, insisting that only a referendum for Biafra exit will guarantee peace.
CNG in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said: “in the light of the frantic efforts being made by some sections of the leadership of the Igbo to disown the current violent agitations for a separate state of Biafra, we, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) insist they should not be believed and only a referendum for Igbo exit can provide final guarantee for a peaceful Nigeria.
“It is important for Nigeria to see through this hypocritical desperation by the Igbo leaders to buy time to restrategise for a deadlier onslaught for Biafra as an afterthought following the exposure of the extent of their complicity in the sponsored Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) secession project.
“With the level of commitment of the Igbo public to the point of young men killing their parents who dared oppose Kanu’s activities, the rest of the country cannot be expected to accept to continue as a nation with the Igbo on the apparent weakness of the assurances of a handful of afrighted Igbo leaders.
“We also consider the sudden contraption by a certain section that calls itself “northern Igbo” as a more latent, disagreeable and unacceptable threat to the North and its people than their brethren that fight us from their South Eastern enclave.
“This is because their presence within the deep hinterland of the North and the permanent nature of that presence, accord them undue advantage over the trusting indeginous northerners who are steadily weakened by a carefully orchestrated, widespread drug war and clandestine spread of arms by these settlers.
“We note especially, the false demand for fairer and more justiciable distribution of resources being put forward by the Igbo leadership as partial justification for the actions of their youth and say it is insulting, false, diversionary and desperate.
“We insist therefore, that this diabolical scheme supported morally and politically by the pliant Igbo elites, politicians and the larger population of its people is real and cannot be avoided or deferred any longer.In order to avoid the recurrence of any terrible and momentous events from coming to pass, and to forestall the planned mass killings, untold sufferings and atrocities, we insist on a referendum to take place across the country to agree on an immediate and permanent exit of the Igbo from Nigeria.
“And in the event that the minority Igbo leaders persist in their current denial, we suggest that a referendum be organised, administered and supervised by the United Nations, the African Union and ECOWAS in the South-East with only its indigenes taking part in the process to determine who actually holds the most influence between them and Kanu.
“All Igbos must leave the territory of Nigeria and assemble in their designated enclave for the purpose of the referendum during which period no further contacts should be experienced between them and the rest of Nigeria so as not to lead to any interference in the process.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall also have no hand whatsoever in the process, and shall not be called upon to participate or render any assistance whatsoever from the beginning to the end of the referendum. Should there be any need, the participation of other regional, continental and international organisations can be requested to determine the way and manner such a referendum is to be held,” the coalition stated.