By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI – THE Ebonyi State chapter of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR Tuesday condemned the recent call credited to Northern Consultative Youth Assembly, NCYA calling on Igbos in the North to leave the Zone.
In a statement in Abakaliki signed by the Committee’s Chairman, Mr Emeka Anosike and made available to journalists, the group said that it condemned in strongest terms the action of the Arewa Youths.
According to the group, the declaration violated the rights to freedom of movement and ownership of property guaranteed to all citizens by the 1999 constitution.
The statement called on the Federal Government (FG) to take urgent steps to unmask those behind the infamous call stressing that the call posed serious threat to national security and corporate existence of the country.
“We are saddened to read the statement credited to the Arewa Youths comprising 16 Northern youth groups asking Igbo resident in Northern Nigeria to quit the North within three months. We regard the call as ‘secessionist’ action and an outright violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“CDHR Ebonyi branch therefore calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to take urgent steps to unmask the persons behind this ‘secessionist’ declaration and their sponsors.
We believe in the unity, peace, indivisibility and corporate existence of the Nigerian nation and we urge the FG to ensure that those seeking the violent disintegration of the country are brought to justice.”
The release regretted that the alleged callous, reckless and provocative statements were made by the group inside the symbolic Arewa house in Kaduna and wondered If the declaration received the tacit support of all Northerners.
The rights group , called on the Northern political elite and elders to caution the youths of the zone against making seditious statements.
“We are concerned that the hate declarations and inciting statements were made inside the symbolic Arewa house and this reminds us about the events of 1966 leading to the Civil War and we are asking, is history about to repeat itself?
“We therefore call on the Northern political elite, the emirs and elders to call their youths to order to avoid a repetition of the sad events of 1966 and the civil war.
“The FG is also implored to take immediate steps to arrest and prosecute the authors of the hate declaration and those behind them to avert any conflagration that will do no one any good,” the release added.
The group further commended the FG for condemning the Arewa Youths’ criminal declaration and for assuring the safety and security of every citizen especially the lives of the Igbos in the North.
The release also urged the Igbo especially the Igbo youths to remain calm and law abiding in the face of the unwarranted provocation and assured that the rights group would always strive for enthronement of true democracy, justice and maintenance of rule of law.
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