The allegations on various media outlets alleging that Northerners were being slaughtered in South-East Nigeria have been refuted by the leading Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, as a fabrication and a false alarm.
Dr. Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu, the Northern Consensus Forum coordinator, and others were cited in some sources as having “advised commodity dealers and truck drivers to avoid the South-East of Nigeria.”
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Dr. Aliyu said that the illegal Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) were killing their members constantly and announced a 3-day warning strike in response to the purported killings of northerners in the South-East.
The National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonna, for Ohanaeze said in a statement that the report’s inaccurate assertion that “not less than 100 northerners were slain in the South-East within last week” is the most upsetting.
The supreme Igbo body instructed Aliyu to find the bodies of the alleged 100 victims, labeling the report as a fabrication from the depths of hell.
It stated that the alleged Dr. Aliyu is not one of the Northern leaders who reside in the South East and as such is not in a position to speak on the relationship between Northerners and the people of the South East, adding that such a false alarm poses a security threat that could cause pandemonium throughout the country.
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The statement partly read: “One begins to imagine the very intendment of the purveyor of such a false, mendacious and devilish alarm that ‘not less than 100 northerners have been killed in the South East within last week’. Four: an introspection will reveal the damage caused to the image of Nigeria among the committee of nations that 100 persons are killed in one week.
“Apart from the negative image to Nigeria, such an unverified front-page report is a breach of the duties and civic responsibilities expected of a national daily such as the Daily Trust.
“Investigative journalism suggests that both the number of persons killed and the locations where they were killed should have been indicated in the report by the Daily Trust.
“Unfortunately, Aliyu has inadvertently reduced the worth of a Nigerian to that of a chicken that could be slaughtered in hundreds within a week. The onus lies on Aliyu to locate the corpses of the said 100 persons.
“Evidently, such false alarm is a security threat capable of causing pandemonium across the country.
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“Going further, is there any other group, among the diverse groups in Nigeria that have come up with a claim of killings by the IPOB? And many more questions that ordinarily will compel the security agents to interrogate the said Coordinator of the Northern Consensus Forum, Dr Auwal Abdullahi Aliyu and adequate measures taken to serve as a deterrent to other alarmists.
“There is no gainsaying the relentless efforts of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the clergy, traditional rulers and indeed all the well-meaning Igbo about the adverse consequences of youth restiveness in the South East.
“We have in that trepidation repeatedly called on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to come to our aid by adopting a political solution to the agitations by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
“We note with sadness, that various forms of insecurity such as banditry, kidnapping, herders-farmers clash, etc. have come to define our daily lives. We hold the view that while some aspects of the insecurity in Nigeria are amorphous, the IPOB are a known group that can be negotiated out of the present socio-economic quagmire.
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“For the avoidance of doubt, the alarmist publication in question is politically motivated to create mistrust between the North and the South. It is important to inform the “new-breed” chauvinists that the Igbo friendliness, hospitality and cosmopolitanism have often found profound expressions in diverse inter-ethnic relations in Nigeria.
“For instance, a Fulani man from Sokoto Caliphate – Mallam Umaru Altine, was in 1952 elected as the first Mayor of the City of Enugu, the heartbeat of the Igbo Nation. He contested for a second term and won and remained in office till 1958.
“Also in 1959, the Igbo, led by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, supported Alhaji Tafawa Balewa to become the Prime Minister of Nigeria. Furthermore, the Igbo led by Dr. Alex Ekwueme supported Alhaji Shehu Shagari to become the President of Nigeria in 1979; also to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, 2007 and in 2015, a group of Igbo led by Dr. Chris Ngige, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, among others, supported the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
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