Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, (APC) Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the October ultimatum issued to Nigerians of south-east extraction to quit states in the Northern part of the country.
A coalition of Northern groups, including the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, had on Tuesday at a media briefing in Kaduna, given all Igbo resident in the 19 states of the North a three-month ultimatum to quit or be forced out after the expiration of the October 1, 2017 deadline.
The National President of the Northern Emancipation Network, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who read the text of the briefing claimed that the Igbo had become a threat to national unity, as he noted that the ultimatum was informed by the persistence for the actualisation of Biafra.
But Atiku in his reaction, on Wednesday, dismissed the ultimatum issued by the Northern youth coalition as not only provocative, reckless and thoughtless, but also a grave threat to national security and peaceful coexistence.
The former presidential aspirant said he was alarmed by the latest dangerous outbursts, warning that “it does not augur well for the North and the country at large”.
According to the Waziri Adamawa, the threat from the Northern group at this time was most irresponsible and callous, because “it is capable of setting off a chain of ugly events nobody could control”.
He cautioned politicians, irrespective of political persuasions to distance themselves from such divisive rhetoric because, according to him, the consequences of such association could ultimately consume them.
The Waziri Adamawa further admonished that all grievances must be peacefully discussed and resolved through negotiations, and not through threats to fellow citizens.
“Our country is too precious; our problems are too pressing to pander to divisive rhetoric.”
He equally appealed to the authorities to address the challenges of youth restiveness, as well as social and economic exclusion, which are the drivers of tensions.
Restating his call for restructuring of the country, the former Vice-President, advised government to heed the clamour, as he noted that the country should not be afraid to confront the recurring clamour for restructuring, adding that burying problems under the carpet wouldn’t make those problems go away, but it “could produce future complications beyond our capacity to manage.”