THE leadership of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) on Tuesday said it has petitioned the United Nations (UN) demanding special protection for the Igbo people in the Northern part of country, calling for steps towards a referendum in Igbo land to finally determine the fate of their people.
The petition came on the heels of the letter written by the Arewa Youths to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, wherein they slammed Ndigbo over the continuous agitation for Biafra. The Arewa youths in the letter accused the Igbos of instigating various crises in the country, including the first military coup as well as the civil war.
In the letter to the UN by the Igbo group said it was high time a referendum was conducted to pave the way to end the “unworkable marriage” called Nigeria.
The letter signed by the group’s national president, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, Mazi Okwu nnabuike(National secretary) Amb Arthur Obiora(Dep National President) Engr Obinna Adobe ( National pub Secretary) was copied to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the United States Embassy in Nigeria, the UK Embassy, the Commonwealth, the Amnesty International, among others.
The letter entitled: ‘A Call for Emergency in Nigeria- Our two-point Demand’, noted that the life of Igbo people in every part of the Northern Nigeria was now at a very high risk.
It read in parts: “It is with great concern that we alert the international community of the looming genocide against the Igbos in the Northern part of Nigeria, occasioned by a well-orchestrated, carefully thought-after plot by the Northern hierarchy, who are hiding under the Arewa Youths.
“Their latest ranting, which they packaged a letter to the Acting President has left no one in doubt as to their motive: A grand design to annihilate the Igbo race” This, they want to achieve so easily through the well packaged false history, which they have now dished out to gullible minds in order to create a passion hatred for the Igbos in the minds of their people and thereby easily achieve the October 1 planned mayhem against our people.
“How else could one justify their attempt to stab history in the back by labelling the first military coup in Nigeria as an Igbo coup? How else could people twist history than their justifying the pogrom against the Igbos between 1966 and 1967, which eventually led to the civil war? In what measure can one justify the insult on our late leaders, in the persons of Late Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi and Late Col. Chukwuemeka Odumewgu Ojukwu?
“In Igbo land, we have respect not only for the elders, but more so for the dead and it if is for that purpose that we chose not to go further into this matter. Truth can never be changed. However, we must let these youths and their pay-masters know that contrary to their claims, our people have made much more sacrifices for the unity of this country, starting from the later Owelle of Onitsha, Nnamdi Azikiwe.
“To also justify their planned killing of every Igbo man remaining with the Biafra agitation amounts to hypocrisy of the highest magnitude. May we remind them for over a decade now, the Boko Haram did not just declare war on the Nigerian State but has gone ahead to seize territories, killed thousands of thousand and rendered millions homeless, yet nobody has branded it an action signed by the entire North. Besides, like the Arewa Youths pointed out in their hypocritical letter, the Biafra agitators have their demand for self-determination found in so many charters, including that of the UN, for which Nigeria is a signatory to. Where does the Boko Haram derive its own right to be engaging in mass murder?
“Our point here, however, is not on the propriety or otherwise of the attempt by Boko Haram to take over every Nigerian Nigeria territory or the Biafra agitation, but the difficult attempt by the Arewa Youths to link every Igbo man with the activities of the IPOB. If it is so, suffice it to say that all of them are members of the Boko Haram sect.
“May we also state that contrary to their claims that Ndigbo were being accommodated in every part of the country, our people have continued to be slaughtered like chickens, especially in the North, without justifiable reason. The case of Mrs. Bridget Agbahime, a pastor’s wife, who was murdered in cold blood will speak against these youths. The manner her case was muzzled by the Kano State Government will make her blood to cry forever against her shameless murderers.
“We, therefore, alert your attention to another impending massacre of the Igbos, especially with thick rumour of arms being stock-piled in the North in readiness for action. It is even more painful considering undenied claims that some security personnel were aiding the smuggling of these sophisticated arms through the porous land borders in the North.
“Suffice it to say, Sir, that the life of our people are now at a great risk. It does appear that the pogrom of the 60s is here to repeat itself again. There are indications that they are only waiting for the whistle to be blown for them to unleash another round of terror on our people.
“Giving the above, we urge the United Nations to beam its satellite on the Northern Nigeria ahead of any eventuality that may befall our people. Considering the manner the security agencies have handled these endless threats, it is unlikely that they may protect our people when these marauders will strike.
“Secondly and very importantly too, having seen that Igbos have remained the victims of this marriage called Nigeria, despite our sacrifices, we demand that the on-going constitutional amendment will not be acceptable should it not make provision for a referendum. It is high time people are given freedom to decide whether they want to remain in a country where they are not loved, not wanted but hated with passion.
“The National Assembly should make no mistake of undertaking any further constitutional amendment without an option for referendum, this is the only way to go and we urge the United Nations to mount all necessary international pressures on Nigeria to effect that very much needed amendment.”