The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has reacted to a recent statement by a Northern group asking the government to grant Igbos a referendum and let them separate from Nigeria.
In a press statement, a group known as the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) had said that only a referendum for Igbo exit can guarantee peaceful Nigeria.
According to the Northern Coalition, a recent decision by South East Governors and political leaders to denounce the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and like-minded secessionist groups in the region was only hypocritical.
The Coalition further alleged that the Governors are only trying to buy time in order to restrategise for a deadlier onslaught for actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra.
CNG also said in the statement that the Igbo nation ought to count themselves lucky that since they were defeated in the civil war, they ought to suffer more severe marginalization.
HURIWA, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Zainab Yusuf, its National Secretary, said that Statement by CNG, is nothing but a deliberate subterfuge, red-herring and ethnic profiling carefully designed to put the Igbos on the spot and reopen the wounds of the 1967 civil war.
HURIWA said the statement was also aimed at discrediting the campaign for Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.
The human rights organisation noted that the ethnic profiling of Ndigbo being promoted lately by some known Northern leaders and some groups is an ill-wind that will blow no one any good.
“Apart from the Coalition of Northern Groups, Hakin Baba Ahmed recently made the same call for an Igbo referendum on behalf of the Northern Elders Forum,” HURIWA noted.
“That other call for Igbo referendum came about the same time that a serving Northern Senator to the same Igbo ethnic group said that they would get into war if that was what they wanted.
“It is important to remind those profiling other ethnic groups and calling for Igbo referendum, that it is not only Biafra secessionist agitation that is going on in the country.
A section of the Yoruba nation is calling for Oduduwa Republic, while Boko Haram terrorism has the simple objective of creating an Islamic Republic in the North East. What could be more secessionist than such?
“And how come such groups are not calling for Yoruba Referendum or a referendum for an Islamic state in the North East if indeed their motivation is patriotic and in good faith?
“It is important to further note that the Igbo leaders cannot be held responsible for Biafra agitation any more than the Northern leaders should be held responsible for the activities of secessionists and terrorists like Abubakar Shekau and Boko Haram or for banditry.”
HURIWA said it sees the call for Igbo referendum by this Northern Coalition on the account Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB activities as being orchestrated in bad faith “and carefully calculated to set up the Igbo ethnic group to be decimated once again, as was the case with the first military coup in which soldiers of many ethnic groups participated.
“Those calling for Igbo Referendum ought to worry more about why secessionist agitations are springing up all over the country and not create the impression that it is a sole Biafra or Igbo franchise.”
CNG is not the first group to make such a call from the North. As DAILY POST reported earlier, the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, had begged the Buhari administration to allow the South East secede from Nigeria.
Making the plea, the Northern Elders had said that they had reviewed events and tendencies which suggest that Nigeria is bound for more crises amid the agitations for Biafra, security challenges, among others.
Similarly, a member of the National Assembly, and Chairman Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Adamu Bulkachuwa had declared that the Nigerian Government will not bow to the demands of those he described as ‘insurgents’ in the South East.
Bulkachuwa said that the South East had tried separating from Nigeria before a move that led to the civil war, wondering if the region wanted to take the same route again and warned that the government would have no choice.
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