Arewa youths ask UN to hold referendum on Biafra

Friday, July 14, 2017

From Fred Itua, Abuja

More than one month after issuing a quit notice to Igbo, to leave the North by October 1, 2017, Arewa youths, under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups, have, again, called on the United Nations (UN) to initiate processes for peaceful referendum.

The groups said that is the only option to finally settle the Biafran issue.

In a July 12, 2017, letter addressed to the UN, the groups said since the end of the Civil War, Igbo youths have intermittently continued to demand an independent country.

They claimed that Igbo are reopening old wounds, and said the Kaduna Declaration was not a call to violence, but, a precaution.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, its coordinator, Shettima Yerima, said: "Not withstanding efforts by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo and responsible regional leaders, Nnamdi Kanu, leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), remains undaunted.

"Their continued action is a clear signal that they are committed to breaking away from the Nigerian Federation which buttresses our earlier concerns.

"Since it is becoming all the more obvious by the way IPOB and Kanu enjoy massive support from the Igbo back home, that the issue of the drive for Biafra nation is still a boiling one, we urge the UN to intervene by initiating processes for a peaceful referendum as the only option to finally settle the Biafran issue."

Arewa youths, had in June, issued an ultimatum to Igbo to vacate the North within three months.

The call has generated mixed reactions from Nigerians.

Kaduna State Governor, Malla Nasir El-Rufai,after the declaration, asked security agents to arrest faces behind the declaration.

Security agents are yet to arrest the youths, as directed by El-Rufai.

Osinbajo has also held series of meetings with regional leaders, as part of moves to douse ethnic tensions.