From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The leadership of Igbo in Northern Nigeria and the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNY), yesterday in Kano, set up a 10-man committee to work out solution to the current hostilities between both communities.
The inauguration of the committee was the immediate outcome of a two- hour peace meeting in the state capital following the October 1 eviction order by the Northern youths.
Representatives of the coalition included, Abdullahi Toro, Dr. Abba Bukar Kagu, Dr. Yima Sen, Alhaji Dauda Shamakare and an elder, Alhaji Ado Mohammed, while the Igbo were represented by Chief Chi Nwogu, Igwe Boniface Ibekwe , Eze Ngozi Nwaiwe, Magnus Ihejerika and Chris Nwoli.
Comrade Tijjani Isa, the convener of the meeting told the media that the committee had 72 hours to come up with the way forward, adding that their position would be made public to Nigerians at a joint press conference.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNY), Ambassador Yerima Shettima, described Northerners as accommodating and receptive people.
He explained that they decided to issue the ultimatum, which was part of several issues they raised in the Kaduna Declaration, following the activities of the leader of the IPOB, Nnamidi Kanu.
Eze Ndigbo Kano, Chief Boniface Ibekwe, in his remarks recalled that many of the Igbo in the region had become part of the North.
Citing himself as an example, he said: “I am a patron of Arewa Youths, a member of the Kano Emirate Council and you are issuing order that I should go. Where do you want me to go?”
He said Igbo people in the north would not be part of anything that was unjust and unfair, while adding that the IPOB leader was not speaking for all Igbo people.
He recalled for instance that when the IPOB leader ordered the closure of the markets, the directive was disregarded across the north, adding that it was an indication that the Igbo community in the north was not part of his crusade.
Eze Ndigbo Minna, Eze Ngozi Nwaiwe appreciated the facilitator of meeting, as well as, the youths for the dialogue. He appreciated the fact that as the future of the country, it was the duty of the youths to ensure that things did not go out of control.
He, however, pointed out that they ought to have taken the Igbo people in their midst into some confidence, adding if you had noticed anything…. You should have drawn our attention to that, rather than resort to hostilities at us.”
He said that some Igbo had denounced the IPOB and a number of their activities, including the fact that both Ohaneze and the South East governors had also distanced themselves from the crusade of the leader of IPOB.
In attendance at the meeting were Eze Ndigbo from across the north, the Chairman of the Igbo Delegate Assembly, Chi Chi Nwugo and chairmen of the various Igbo community associations in the 19 northern states. They were supported by leaders of the South- South in the state represented by the Enogie of Edo, and the Yoruba leader in the north, Chief Jimpat Anyalambe.