The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, on Monday described the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra IPOB, as destructive to the nation’s cohesion.
Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, ACF National Publicity Secretary in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna Monday, said, “ACF considers such press statement as destructive of our national cohesion.”
The statement noted that the IPOB statement issued by its publicity secretary, Emma Powerful was widely published, saying that IPOB had declared May 30 this year as a sit at home day in honour of not only for Biafra State but those allegedly killed by herdsmen in 20 states of Nigeria.
The statement added, “The attention of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has been drawn to a press statement by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which was proscribed by the Federal Government last year, again declaring May 30th this year as a sit-at-home day in honour of not only for a Biafra state but also for those alleged to have been killed by herdsmen in 20 states of Nigeria.
“It is also a negation of our national unity comprising a people who having ended the unfortunate three (3) years of civil war, 48years ago with “no Victor no Vanquish”, and have been working hard through the 3Rs of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction introduced by General Yakubu Gowon in order to overcome what divide us.
“Our faith in one indivisible Nigeria despite our moments of national instability and challenges, have continued to be reaffirmed by individuals and groups at different fora. We have also demonstrated it in words and deeds in our political sojourn. We cannot therefore jettison our collective sacrifice for primordial sentiments that would do no one any good.
“The Nigerian components, like all developing nations, have challenges which can be overcome through collective hard work and due democratic process. Intimidation and threats are not viable means that give voice to people’s aspiration as it is unnecessary and unhelpful.”
“The sit-at-home order of last year by IPOB did not only infringe on the liberty and rights of innocent and law abiding citizens residing in the South-East zone of Nigeria, it was also hijacked by hoodlums who unleashed terror on “non-indigenes”.
“We therefore cannot afford a repeat of such incidence. Given the benefit of hindsight, ACF therefore calls on the South East Governors to prevail on their citizens to ignore such acts that seek to affect our sense of oneness and could also affect the economy and political stability of not only the South East but of Nigeria as a whole,” the statement observed.
The ACF urged members of IPOB to listen to the wise counsel of their elders, States Chief Executives and elected political representatives at both the National and State Assemblies and opt for due democratic process.
“Our present democratic structure provides sufficient avenue for people to give voice to their aspirations and vent their concerns.
“Nigerians should therefore avail themselves to this opportunity rather than pander seek to heat up the polity. ACF also calls on the Security Agencies to put in adequate measures that will ensure the safety of all citizens in every part of country,” ACF noted.
While wishing Nigerians happy democracy day, ACF appealed to the country’s political leaders to play the game by strictly obeying its rules to ensure a fair, peaceful and credible elections.