The Coalition for Northern Groups (CNG) is in court to press for a referendum that will separate Southeast from Nigeria to avert another civil war, the group’s spokesman, Abdulazeez Suleiman, said.
Speaking with newsmen on Thursday, Suleiman added that nationalities calling for secession from Nigeria would be denied automatic rights to the country after the exercise.
He said, “To prevent another civil war and mass killings, we at the CNG have committed to the call for a referendum that will finally separate the Southeast from Nigeria.
“We are hoping that the court with compel the National Assembly to come up with a framework to be agreed upon in the course of the referendum and its final implementation in the Southeast or any enclave that wishes to secede from Nigeria.
“All identified indigenes of the enclave or entity that called for secession must leave the territory of Nigeria and assemble in their designated enclave for the purpose of the exercise. The outcome of the referendum shall be final, irreversible and shall not be reviewed or reconsidered for any other reasons. Citizens of the break-away enclave shall be deprived of any automatic rights to return to the territory of the rump Nigeria, or to be admitted to live in any of its parts.”
He said the move by his group was in the interest of Nigeria’s unity. Quoting him, “It is the most patriotic and civilized step to achieve the unity of Nigeria and put to rest the growing agitations for secession, especially by the Southeast which has lingered for about sixty years. It will provide the legal framework for the resolution of the violence associated with disturbances created by certain interest groups in the Southeast in the form of the agitation for a separate State of Biafra.”
He denied that marginalization of the southeast is not the cause of the agitation. According to him, “All those are part of the lies promoted by the secessionist groups in the South to make the North appear as the guilty entity.
“Having failed to achieve their nefarious objectives through propaganda, long-practised tactics are now being played out in the form of attacks against northerners and against agents and symbols of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Southeast and parts of the Southsouth.
“The mindless violence and diabolical scheme exhibited in the actions and clamours of IPOB, supported morally and politically by the vast majority of the pliant and affrighted Igbo elites, has pushed Nigeria to the precipice.”