Concerned by the recent eviction order served the Igbos to vacate the North which has drawn criticisms and condemnation by eminent Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora, the General Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church in Imo State, Pastor Emmanuel Okoro, has called on Igbos residing in the region to ”put their confidence in God.”
He stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Owerri, on the coming of the General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi to Imo State, June 22.
He among other things said it was an annual event and that the theme: “Supernatural connection with the God of signs and wonders” was aimed to create a new way for people to sincerely serve God.
On the quit notice, he said: “Life is about knowing God and sharing what He has given to you. We are living in a society where there is so much fear and people need assurance.
“What they have to do is to put their confidence in God. I think our brothers and sisters living in the north should listen to the voice of God.”
However, despite the national outrage that greeted the call for Igbo to leave the northern part of the country, Coalition of Northern Youth Groups, yesterday, insisted that it has become dangerous to allow the Igbo to continue living in the northern region due to the threats issued by those agitating for Biafra.
In an open letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the group insisted that Igbo should be granted their desire to quit the federation peacefully.
The group in the letter signed by five of its leaders, including Yerima Shettima and Abdulazzez Suleiman, noted that self-determination is legal in international law and reiterated its call for a referendum to be conducted on the issue, saying Igbo have manifested hatred for Nigeria’s unity without remorse.
“While we do not see this clamour for Biafra as an issue over which a single drop of blood should be shed, we at the same time insist that the Igbo be allowed to have their Biafra and for them to vacate our land peacefully so that our dear country, Nigeria, could finally enjoy lasting peace and stability,“ the youths stated in the letter.
According to the group, Igbo from all over the country and in the diaspora should be advised to converge in their region in the South-East for a plebiscite to be organised and conducted by the United Nations and other regional bodies for them to categorically decide between remaining in Nigeria or having their separate country.
The group said: “It is important to note here that the Igbo eventually capitulated and conceded defeat in an unconditional surrender, not an armistice, on January 15, 1970, which renders any talk about Biafra at any other time, a repudiation of the terms of that surrender signed by Phillip Effiong and other Biafran leaders.
“Given the unrepentant antecedents exhibited by the Igbo, we strongly believe that the gruesome picture that the Biafran agitation represents is beyond a few people showcasing to Your Excellency that the Igbo will eventually heed the call for peace and desist from their dangerous campaign against Nigeria.
“The seed of hate planted in the name of Biafra is evidently so deep that the ongoing interaction between you and the leaders from the South-East cannot in our well informed opinion douse or address the underlying deep seated problems.”
Miffed by the development, Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Acho Ihim, has described the quit order as “worrisome and disenchanting”.
Chief Ihim made his feelings known in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Bennett Ilochonwu.
He said: “The group’s move to intimidate and eject Ndigbo from their region is worrisome, disenchanting, undemocratic, inciting and despicable. I urge the Northern elders to curb the anomaly, to avoid precipitating an endless pandemonium in the country.”
He reiterated his “zero tolerance for lawlessness, unguarded utterances and undemocratic acts capable of breaching peace and truncating the nation’s democratic engineering.”
While decrying the Kaduna declaration, the speaker, however, maintained that “every Nigerian has the constitutional right to migrate, reside and own property in any part of the country, devoid of any form of intimidation and segregation.”