Ahead of the October 1 deadline by a coalition of northern youths for Igbos in the North to vacate the region, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), worldwide has warned that an attack on anybody of southern extraction would be seen as declaration of war on the entire southern Nigeria and would not be taken lightly.
In a statement issued in Yenagoa on Thursday by its President, Eric Omare, the Ijaw youths vowed to retaliate any such aggression against a southerner with the appropriate response.
“The IYC aligns itself with the position of southern leaders in calling on northern youths not to attack anybody from the south in the name of enforcing their quit notice.
“Any attack on anybody of southern extraction would be taken as declaration of war on the entire southern Nigeria and the IYC shall retaliate such action with the appropriate response,” the statement read.
IYC stated that talks by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo with various regional and ethnic leaders without taking practical steps to address the causes of the tension in the country amounts to postponing the evil day.
“Consequently, the IYC calls on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to take steps towards addressing the causes of the tension in the country rather than embarking on talk shows,” it said.
The group stressed that unless the federal government heeds the increasing calls for the nation’s restructuring, Nigeria will not surmount its current challenges.
It maintained that the government had failed to tackle the problems besetting the country from the roots, insisting that the current leadership was only embarking on window-dressing.
Omare noted that in a truly federal system, the federal government should only concern itself with issues of defence and the likes.
The statement reads, “The IYC is of the view that Nigerian and Nigerians have deceived themselves enough and it is time to face the reality which is that the centre can no longer hold except steps are taken to reconstruct Nigeria to satisfy the yearnings and aspiration of the different ethnic nationalities making up the country.
“It is on record that the southern parts of the country including some parts of the middle belt have consistently called for reconstruction of Nigeria to reflect the tenets of federalism with the centre allowed to handle only issues relating to foreign affairs, currency, defence and few other issues of national importance.
“However, the opposition of the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy of northern Nigeria is holding the entire country to ransom in the quest for restructuring.
“However, it is now obvious that restructuring is an idea whose time has come and no amount of Hausa/Fulani oligarchy opposition can stop it from coming to a reality,” it maintained.