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30 Sep 2017

Oct 1: Igbo in the North shun kinsmen’s fresh calls to quit

The leadership of the Igbo community in Northern Nigeria has said that Igbo people will not heed the call by an association of lawyers in Anambra State, asking them to return home.

It described the call as nothing but mischief.

This was as Yerima Shettima, one of the leaders of the Coalition of Northern Youths, which had previously issued a quit notice to the Igbo living in the north, assured them that no harm will come their way on October 1 or after.

The Vice President of Igbo Delegate Assembly in 19 Northern states, Cheif Chris Nnoli, said the call by the so called lawyers was condemnable.

Nnoli, a lawyer, expressed disappointment and dismay that professionals like lawyers could make such call.

He, however, assured that no Igbo man living in the north will heed such call because every Nigerian under the constitution of the country has the right to live anywhere they feel like within the country.

Nnoli, who is also the President General of Igbo Community Welfare Association (ICWA) in Kaduna State, said October 1 remains Nigeria’s national day and they will all celebrate together as Nigerians.

“We are not in support of such call. And if lawyers actually made such call, because I also read the story in a national daily, then it is very unfortunate and we are not going heed it,” he said.

Also reacting to the call by the lawyers asking the Igbo in the north to return home before October 1 to avoid being caught unaware like it happened in 1966, Shettima described the lawyers asking North-based Igbo to return home during the period as mischief makers and enemies of Nigeria.

Shettima said: “We are a people of honour and respect. We honour our words. So, the Igbo in the north can go about their normal business and should not listen to mischief makers.

“We have sensitised our members to ensure the safety of every Nigerian, especially the Igbo, and we can assure you that nothing will happen to the Igbo by October 1 and even beyond.”

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