The Coalition of Northern Groups has asked the National Assembly to organise a referendum for the separation of the Igbos from Nigeria and immediately suspend the ongoing 1999 Constitution review exercise.
The coalition says it cannot remain indifferent in the face of violence by separatist group IPOB and its followers in the South-East and South-South regions.
The group says the call for separation has become necessary to prevent a slide into another civil war.
Spokesman of the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman at a press briefing on Thursday said similar presentations were made before the leadership of the legislature on Wednesday.
He called on the federal government to invite the UN, African Union and ECOWAS, to initiate the process of self-determination by leveraging on the relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“We demanded the immediate suspension of the ongoing exercise for the review of the 1999 Constitution and to concentrate on the first priority of determining who and what actually constitutes Nigeria as a nation in the 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,” Mr Suleiman said at the briefing.
“In order to achieve the final separation of the Igbo from the rest of Nigeria, we demanded the NASS to organize 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 Yaradua unfit.
“We demanded NASSS to prevail on the federal government of Nigeria to invite the United Nations as well as the African Union and ECOWAS, to initiate the process of self-determination to mandate the Biafrans out of the Nigerian union by leveraging on the several relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.
According to the CNG, while the Igbos failed in their attempt to hijack the #EndSARS protest, they have now resolved to attacks against northerners and against agents and symbols of the Nigerian state.
The group said, “having failed to achieve the Igbo’s nefarious objective by hijacking the #EndSARS agitations and inciting the violence and destruction that followed in its wake, long-practiced tactics are now being played out in the form of attacks against northerners and against agents and symbols of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the South-East and parts of the South-South.
“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.
“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.”
By Abel Ejikeme