Ipob rejects withdrawal of quit notice by Arewa youths saying Igbos should still leave northern Nigeria

SECESSIONIST campaign group the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) has rejected the withdrawal of the quit notice issued to Igbos living in northern Nigerian by a coalition of Arewa youth groups saying Ndigbo should leave the region by the October 1 deadline.


On June 6, a coalition of northern youth groups had issued an ultimatum to all Igbos living in northern Nigeria asking them to leave the area in response to the ongoing Biafra agitation. It also asked all northerners living in southeast Nigeria to leave the region as northerners were no longer interested in living with Ndigbo.


However, after months of negotiations, the youth groups agreed to withdraw their quit notice earlier this week. Although the decision has been praised as a sign that reason will prevail and ease ethnic tension across the country, Ipob has refused to accept the rescinding of the notice and has urged all Igbos living in northern Nigeria to leave the region by the original October 1 deadline.


Ipob spokesperson, Emma Powerful, said: “It is inconsequential to Ipob whether the quit notice was rescinded or not because it will in no way impact the pace and direction of our effort to restore Biafra. If they had any honour, they will stick to it.


"Threats don’t have any effect on us, so our advice to the Arewa north is to please stick to the October 1 deadline or else they have no honour. We urge all southerners in the core north to return home before October 1 as history will most definitely repeat itself."


He said southerners living in the north must be vigilant despite the assurances given by the coalition. Mr Powerful also added that if President Muhammadu Buhari is at all serious about clamping down on hate speech, he should arrest those behind the quit notice along with their sponsors.


"Southerners were massacred in the pogroms of 1966 and 1967 after similar assurances were issued then that people should remain in the north. The presence of a serving governor and senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the supposed press briefing confirms what we have always known that the incitement to genocide, which is what the quit notice is all about has the blessing of the Arewa political class," Mr Powerful said.