The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on National Assembly to suspend the ongoing exercise for the review of the 1999 Constitution and concentrate on the first priority of determining who and what actually constitutes Nigeria as a nation.
Addressing journalists yesterday, in Abuja, the CNG spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said in this present circumstance in which the Igbo, by taking up arms against the Nigerian state for the third time, have foreclosed every hope for the rest of us to continue coexisting with them as one nation.
According to him,“ In order to achieve the final separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria, we demanded the NASS to organise a referendum by seeking the cover of the same Doctrine of Necessity invoked by Nigeria’s federal Parliament that paved way for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s takeover by declaring the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua unfit.
“The embers of this agitation were ignited and incessantly fanned into a raging fire by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other authors of mindless violence and separatism who see it as their duty to actualise what their fathers started in 1966, namely to bring about the realisation of a separate State of Biafra through the force of arms and terrorist tactics.
“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.
“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.”
Suleiman argued that 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.
“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 rump Nigeria, or to be admitted to live in any of its parts,” he said.