ShareA group under the aegis of South-South Elders and Leaders rose from an emergency meeting in Abuja, on Monday, warning of a possible break-up of Nigeria in the light of sustained killing of southerners in the North by members of the Islamic sect Boko Haram.
The group, led by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, urged the Federal Government to start considering the idea of convening a National Conference, which, it said, would offer the component units of the country an opportunity to discuss solution to the fragile unity of Nigeria.
Clark, in a press conference after the South-South elders’ meeting, said all Nigerians were equal since Nigeria was founded as equal federating units, a reason he said the South-South condemned the turn of events in which a section of Nigeria, most especially the North, felt that it owns Nigeria more than the other sections of the country.
He said the recent development in Nigeria with the menace of Boko Haram and the threat to the government of the day by some faceless cabal had necessitated the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference for Nigerians to determine whether or not they wanted Nigeria to remain as a nation or face a break-up.
He said Nigeria should avoid taking the path of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Sudan and Angola in its journey to nationhood, stating the rest of Nigeria would no longer sit back to be made second class citizen, in their country, as he declared, “Enough is Enough”
Clark said: “The South-South leaders wish to warn that no ethnic nationality is a sole repository of violence. The people of the South-South will not tolerate any untoward action or plan against our son, whose action, though seemingly painful in the interim are geared towards repositioning this country for the ultimate good of its future.”
Against this background, Clark, who read the communiqué said “the South-South elders and leaders condemn in its entirety the recent spate of bombing of places of worship and the ultimatum to Christians and people from the South to leave the northern part of the country.
“We urge the security agencies to step up efforts to rekindle the confidence of the citizens in their ability to safeguard the life and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or region.
“The South-South elders and leaders have it on good authority plans by some prominent individuals to wreak havoc and inflict unimaginable destruction on both institution and the leadership of the country. These subterranean moves to destroy the fabric of unity of this country at a time the leadership of the country is entrusted to our son is treacherous, callous, divisive, ill conceived, against the spirit of our collective union as a country.
“The South-South elders and leaders call on those who are beating the drums of war and balkanisation of the country to desist from such acts forthwith, as the consequence could be unbearable and unimaginable and will do no section of the country any good”.
The group, however, drummed up support for the decision of government to remove the subsidy on petrol, stressing that the step by the government was meant to save the economy of Nigeria from collapse as well as reduce the high level of corruption in the oil sector.
It called on the organised labour to embrace dialogue with the government on the issues, just as it expressed regret on what it described as provocative comments from Pastor Tunde Bakare and his call for mass action to remove President Goodluck Jonathan in the fashion of the Arab Spring.