We’ll explore every peaceful avenue to avoid bloodshed— Ohanaeze youths

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We’ll explore every peaceful avenue to avoid bloodshed— Ohanaeze youths

We’ll explore every peaceful avenue to avoid bloodshed— Ohanaeze youths

However, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, sued for peace over the 30-day ultimatum issued by a Coalition of Northern Groups following the suspension of the Ruga programme by the Federal Government. The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural group in a statement signed by its national president, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, on Friday said although it is keen to avoid bloodshed, the gesture must not be seen as weakness by the northern groups. Isiguzoro said: “We have studied diligently and weighed the implications of the recent threat and 30-day ultimatum from Coalition of Northern groups over the suspension of Ruga settlement programme by the presidency. There has been unnecessary tension in the southern Nigeria, especially Igboland, because of the northern group’s threat. “We are fully aware that the recent threat is targeted mainly at the lives and properties of peaceful Nigerians of Igbo extraction who are doing businesses in the 19 northern states, and this is a declaration of war against the Igbos. “Instead of resorting to counter threats or hate speech, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide will facilitate a peaceful dialogue with the leadership of the coalition to ensure that the ultimatum is resolved peacefully like the previous quit notice issued against Igbos in 2017 by the same group. “We will not fail to explore all peaceful avenues for the protection of lives and properties of Igbos living in the 19 northern states. But our peaceful approach should not be mistaken for weakness as there are other options open to us over the recent threat, but we will legitimately pursue peaceful ways to avert this imminent mayhem and ethnic cleansing against Igbos in the North.” The Igbo group went on to remind the leadership of Northern groups of the grave implications of the recent threat, saying: “Hate speech ban is still effective and in the interest of national peace and security, we call on the group to withdraw the 30-day ultimatum immediately since there is another option for the herdsmen to have ranches in the North through NLTP, except they’re out to use Ruga settlement programme for land grabbing and other nefarious activities in the South East and other parts of southern Nigeria. “We want to warn that the youths of South East and South-South are not ready to stomach the threat of ethnic cleansing against the Igbos in the North. We call on Igbos to be vigilant and defend themselves in the North, and relocate their businesses to the East.”

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