The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, has threatened fire over the ultimatum issued by a coalition of Northern Youths over the controversial Ruga settlement.
WE4WE REPORTS reports that the youths had given the Federal Government 30 days to implement Ruga across the 36 States and the FCT.
But reacting, the OYC, through its President-General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said their Northern counterparts were taking more than required.
He said “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council worldwide had studied dilligently and weighed the implications of the recent threat and 30-day utimatum from a Northern group named “Coalition of Northern groups” over the suspension of Ruga settlement by the Presidency.
“We would have ignored them but for the unnecessary tension in the Southern Nigeria, especially Igbos emanating from the threat of this Northern group.
“We are fully aware that this recent threat is targeted only on the lives and properties of peaceful Nigerians of Igbo extraction doing businesses in 19 Northern States, and this is a declaration of war against the Igbos.”
He said though the Igbo youths would not fail to explore all peaceful avenues for the protection of lives and properties of Igbos living in the 19 Northern States, “our peaceful approach should not be understood as weakness as there are other options open to us over the recent threat.”
Isiguzoro, however, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari “for the suspension of the Ruga settlement program and the careful approach of the National Economic Council under Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and the Sub Committee led by Governor Dave Umahi.
“We urge the Coalition of Northern groups to direct Northern Governors to opt for the second option of ranching through this peaceful National livestock Transformation Programme rather than Ruga settlement, which was clearly rejected by the Southern Nigeria, especially the South East /South-South Governors and the people.
“OYC wishes to remind the leadership of the coalition of Northern groups of the grave implications of this recent threat. In the interest of national peace and security, they should withdraw the 30-day ultimatum, immediately.
“They’re out to use the guise of Ruga settlement program for land grabbing in Southern Nigeria; we warn that the Youths of South East and South-South are not ready to stomach the threat of genocidal ethnic cleansing against the Igbos in the North.
“We call on Igbos to be vigilant and defend themselves and if the Northern Governors, Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Traditional Rulers led by Sultan of Sokoto and Religious leaders are not behind the recent threat, they should condemn it vehemently and call the warring youths to order.
“If they fail, we will hold them responsible for any loss of life or properties resulting from this.”