Arewa youths ask Igbos to leave the North and the UN reacts. The United Nations has expressed concern over the quit notice and 90-day ultimatum issued by a coalition of Arewa youths to Igbos living in the north calling for a peaceful resolution. The youths had stirred controversy when they issued a statement asking Igbos to leave the north within three months while also asking the northerners in Igboland to also do same.
Premium Times reports that Edward Kallon who is the UN resident coordinator in Nigeria in a statement on Thursday, June 8, called for peace.
He urged different ethnic groups in the country to be more tolerant noting that the ultimatum was issued after a sit-at-home protest by Biafra agitators. Kallon said: “We have to work together to resolve peacefully any concern that different groups in the country may have. “I am heartened by reactions of leaders from all over the country condemning this ultimatum. “UN calls for tolerance and a spirit of togetherness in transparency to address the concerns of all the citizens in a peaceful manner.” He also called on cultural and religious leader to use their positions to guide the youths to settle their differences peacefully. The UN coordinator also stressed the need to re-invigorate the National Peace Committee as it could play a vital role in addressing the issue at the moment.
He noted that the committee worked to maintain peace during the 2015 general elections. “Nigeria is a great country with immense potential to build the welfare of its population and lead Africa in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. “This can only be achieved in an atmosphere of the rule of law and peace where all citizens live happily irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
“I commend the Federal and State Governments, youth and civil society leaders, security agencies, cultural and religious leaders for their efforts to promote peace in the country. “The UN is ready to continue supporting Nigeria to build an enduring democracy in peace, prosperity and respect for diversity,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Northern Youths insisted that Igbos must leave the north for peace to reign. The group has insisted that the only peaceful resolution to end the current agitation for the state of Biafra is to allow the Igbos to go. This was even as they implored the federal government and the international community to plan for referendum that would effect their call. This was contained in a statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna and signed by the spokesman for the coalition, Alh Abdulazeez Suleiman on Thursday, June 8.