by Jude Owuamanam,Sunday Aborishade,Ozioma Ubabukoh and David Attah
Afenifere Leader, Dr. Reuben Fasoranti, has cautioned the Northern leaders against their threat that the North is not afraid of the breaking of Nigeria.
A leader of the Arewa Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdulahi, on Wednesday said the North was prepared to go alone if the nation breaks up, adding that the North would not, however, champion the disintegration of the country.
Fasoranti told our correspondent in an interview in Akure that the news came to him as a shock.
He said, “I strongly appeal to the Northern leaders against such move because it would never be in their interest.
“They obviously don’t know the implication of such action and they should better don’t take a hasty decision they would forever live to regret.
“They would definitely benefit better if they remain in the same federation with the south because their own resources are limited.
“Their natural resources cannot possibly sustain them so they should not take any hasty decison because of the prevailing circumstance.”
The Arewa Consultant Forum, the umbralla body for the North, however, remained evasive regarding the position of Abdullahi, preferring to tacitly endorsing a united Nigeria.
ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, said on Thursday. “Professor Ango Abdullahi merely echoed what has been said several times that the North is committed to a united Nigeria in diversity not out of fear that the region cannot exist without oil but because of our deep and wide interdependence among constituent parts that make divorce impossible.
“Moreover, the size of the country is a huge advantage not just now but in future when the economy picks up. As result, the North would not be the cause of any contemplated break up.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo dismissed Abdullahi’s threat, describing his submission as pointless.
The Deputy President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Chief Gary Igariwey, said, “We cannot react to such threats. Anybody could come from anywhere to make threats of breakup or secession, so it’s pointless reacting to such.”
He added, “There are so many groups now seeking attention, but there are those we recognise, like the Arewa Consultative Forum.
“Even if it comes from the Arewa Consultative Forum, it must come from the right people in the group, not just anybody.”
Coordinator of the Federation of Middle Belt Peoples, Mr. Manasseh Watyil, distanced the zone from the position of the Northern leaders.
Watyil said, “Who are the Northerness? We better distinguish between the owners of the North. If they want Nigeria to break that mean they are going back to where they came from. That will not affect the Middle Belt; they are free to go.
He added, “It is because of these challenges that the Middle Belt is calling for true federalism or Sovereign National Conference if we will stay together.”
A member of the Ulam council in Plateau State, Mallam Sani Muazu, however lamented the penchant for people or group to claim that they were speaking for the North.
He said there was nothing called one monolithic North, adding that there were no issues that could warrant any breakup of the country. Muazu said what united the country was more than what could divide it.
He said, “Who is the voice of the North? What is the criteria used in determining that voice? Is there one monolithic north? What are the issues at stake that warrants a breakup? Who is agitating for that? To achieve what?”
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