From: David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
National coordinator of Stakeholders for Willie Obiano for 2nd Tenure and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) chieftain, in Anambra State, Chief Ekene Enefe, has advised the Federal Government not to take the repeated quit notice given to Igbo in the North by Arewa youths lightly.
Reacting, on Tuesday, Chief Enefe noted that with repeated threats by the Arewa youths to evict the Igbo from the Northern Nigeria, a massacre of the Igbo in the North on or before October 1 this year might not be ruled out. He said it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure safety of lives and property of the Igbo and other Nigerians in the North before it got out of control.
Chief Enefe, who is also the national fund-raising coordinator for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 during the election that brought Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to power as a civilian president advised the Igbo to hurry back home whether the Arewa youths’ October 1 quit notice would be realisable or not.
Enefe argued on the premise that up till now no single person amongst the youths that made the statements had been arrested.
He noted that the Northern elders had as well given their own support to what the youths said which he noted was enough to tell any doubting Thomas that there was danger ahead. He wondered why such a scenario would be taken lightly by the Igbo who had the same experience in 1967 when thousands of them were butchered in the North, after the same plea not to worry.
“How can you ask the Igbo to stay put in the North when not even a single soul has been arrested amongst the Arewa youths who have continued to make these inflammatory statements, asking Igbo to leave their territory. Federal Government is not sincere about diffusing the fears in the North. Those people who made the statement should have been arrested and prosecuted, if there is no hidden agenda in asking the Igbo in the North to remain where they are. And the Arewa youths have even continued to repeat their threats, to show how resolved they are.
“This is not the first time the Igbo had faced this kind of situation. If the Acting President is not being remote-controlled by the Northerners, let him order the arrest of the those Arewa youths and their prosecution to serve as a deterrent and by then Igbo will rest assured that their lives and property would be protected in an event of any crisis in the North,” Chief Enefe posited.
He told the Igbo in the North to discountenance the advice to stay put in the North to avoid being taken unawares. He reminded them of an Igbo adage that said anaghi agwa ochi nti na agha ebidogo (You needed not to tell the deaf or someone hard of hearing that war has started).