Despite the attempt at damage control by Governor El Rufai of Kaduna state, the Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, on Friday expressed support to the call by the Coalition of Northern Youth Groups for Igbos to leave the North within 90 days. The Forum also claimed that southern Nigeria was developed with the resources from the northern region, expressing disappointment with the Northern Governors’ Forum for disowning the youths.
NEF spokesperson,Prof. Ango Abdullahi, talking to newsmen on Friday in Zaria said it was hypocritical for the Igbo to continue to live in other parts of the country while agitating for Nigeria’s break up.
He said, “I am disappointed in the decision taken by Northern Governors’ Forum disowning and condemning the agitation by this young, agile and progressive youth groups.
“Let me ask these Northern governors, who are they representing, are they representing spirits, ghosts or people of the North?
“Recently, people from eastern part of this country, specifically Igbo, were busy calling for the Sovereign State of Biafra and from all indications, their leaders, including governors, are behind them.”
Mr. Abdullahi added that “Whoever feels Nigeria is not conducive for him, let him quit;” noting that what the northern youth groups did was not a sin.
He wondered why none of the Northern governors have reacted to the persistent call for the actualisation of Biafra and other agitations.
When Nnamdi Kanu was released on bail recently, over 100 vehicles escorted him to his residence, including big personalities from the south-west and south-east, he pointed out.
“This is somebody who has been agitating for the break-up of Nigeria; but his people were behind him. Therefore, I am behind the (Northern) youths.
“This is because the Northern youths are pushed to the wall. We have been calming them down in any event similar to this,” he noted.
Abdullahi stated that despite the fact that Southern Nigeria was developed by resources from the North, people from the South were always pretending that people from the North were cheating them.
“These people always pretend that the North is cheating them, not minding the fact that Southern Nigeria was developed by resources from the North.
“Please, look for a book written by Adamu Fika, the Waziri of Fika, on Nigeria’s budget before and after Independence.
“Each year, up to the time Nigeria gained its Independence, none of the two regions was able to provide for itself.
“I mean, none of the Western and Eastern regions had the money to effectively run the affairs of its region until they got financial support from the Northern region,” he said.
He recalled that it was the money from the North that was used to construct Nigerian railways, refineries and other facilities.
“First oil exploration was conducted using money from groundnut pyramid, cotton, hide and skin, among other cash crops from Northern Nigeria.
“However, these people tend to forget all these goodies provided by the North toward ensuring the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.
“They always look down on us, feeling that Northerners are parasites in this country.”