IPOB: Is it possible for Igbos to secede?
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has called on Igbo leaders to prevail on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) championing secession to sheathe their swords to avoid instigating another civil war in Nigeria.
The organization said the Northern leaders have resolved not to allow any war again in the country as all the ethnic groups were a victim of the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970).
“The Forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made to look, and Igbo leadership appears to be in support of it, then the country should be advised not to stand in its way,” NEF spokesman Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said in a statement.
“It will not be the best choice for the Igbo or Nigerians to leave a country we have all toiled to build and a country we all have responsibility to fix, but it will not help a country already burdened with failures on its knees to fight another war to keep the Igbo in Nigeria.”
Baba-Ahmed further stated that standing in the way of the agitators will only worsen the insecurity in the country.
He said the agitation by the Igbo for secession has become widespread, adding that the leaders in the state appear to support the decision.
“The Forum insists that attacks and killings of Northerners and Federal Government employees and destruction of National assets must stop,” Baba-Ahmed said.
“Those who have been involved in it must be arrested and prosecuted.”
Baba-Ahmed also called northerners who are exposed to harassment and violence to consider relocating to the North.
“Until the Igbo decide whether it wants to secede or remain part of Nigeria, the law applies to it, and Federal and State Governors who have responsibility to enforce the law and protect citizens must enforce it,” Baba-Ahmed said.
He also advised that all Igbo and other ethnic groups from the South residing in the North should be accorded the usual hospitality and security.
The proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) are demanding the secession of the Southeast from Nigeria