Apex Diaspora Ndigbo group, the World Igbo Congress, has advised people of South-East extraction living in the North to return home before the October 1, 2017 quit notice by a coalition of Arewa youths.
This was one of the highlights in the seven-point resolution issued by WIC after an extraordinary Conference of over 700 stakeholders on Saturday, September 16, 2017. and signed by WIC Chairman, Prof. Anthony Ejiofor; and Secretary-General, Dr. Richard Nwachukwu.
They warned Ndigbo resident in Northern Nigeria not to be deceived by the reported suspension of the threat, saying it was a bait to lure them into “into false hope” and produce avoidable casualties of any unexpected massacre of Igbos living in the region.
WIC promised to provide funds to indigent Igbos who may be unable to afford the cost of returning home before the quit notice.
It also urged South-East governors to prepare to ensure safe passage and prepare adequate reception centres for returning Ndigbo in their respective states.
The group also condemned the military operation codenamed Operation Python Dance II and advised President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the troops and pay compensation to the families of those killed or injured since the operation began.
They said the organisation had begun mobilising Ndigbo in the Diaspora to take complaints of injustices meted out to their people to the United Nations.
The full text reads:
1. World Igbo Congress will provide immediate assistance to indigent Igbo citizens resident in Northern Nigeria who may be unable to afford their passage to escape the October 1, 2017 deadline set by the Arewa Youth in their Quit Notice against Ndi-Igbo. The actions of the North-controlled military and government in recent days confirm their alliance with the Arewa Youth, and any assurances of rescission of the Quit Notice is too spurious to be relied on. Besides we are reminded that similar assurances by the government of the Northern Group of Provinces to Ndi-Igbo in
the early phase of the wave of Igbo massacre during the pogrom on our people in the region beginning May 29, 1966 and continuing on July 29 and September 29 of that year, was mere ruse that lured our people into false hope and cost us additional hundreds of thousands of trusting Igbo victims.
2. World Igbo Congress condemns the deployment of military and security forces by the Federal Government of Nigeria (under its Python Dance II) in the Southeast during the last week. In the process, tanks and heavy firepower mowed down several defenseless, unarmed Igbo civilians.
We demand immediate withdrawal of the invading army from the entire territory of Southeastern Nigeria. World Igbo Congress further demands that the Nigerian Government live up to its duty under the Nigerian Constitution and international law to protect the lives of all citizens, including residents of the invaded Southeast, and to compensate the victims of its unlawful invasion.
3. World Igbo Congress further condemns the Government’s use of law enforcement as pretext to unleash this military invasion of the Southeast. These nefarious actions beg the question as to why Nigeria has a police force whose law enforcement functions have now been selectively reassigned to the army and security forces in the targeted Southeast Geopolitical Zone.
4. WIC reminds the Governors of the Southeastern states that, as chief law enforcement officers of their respective states, they have a duty to protect lives and property. They cannot collude or collaborate with the Federal Government in the unlawful military invasion of states under their leadership. WIC therefore calls on the governors to ensure security for all citizens within their states, as well as safe passage and adequate reception centers, for returning Igbo refugees escaping from the murderers of the North. It is a matter of moral, ethical and legal obligation for the governors to demonstrate that they are working in the Igbo interest, especially since their official joint utterances regarding the invasion suggests they may be compromised.
5. Nigeria has systematically targeted and massacred millions of Ndi-Igbo in pogroms and genocide as though we are sub-humans or second-class citizens. We will no longer accept the scapegoating and humiliation. Myriads of other injustices and inequities also belie the Nigerian arrangement. This is a combination of evils that is no longer sustainable. The deafening clamor for restructuring as the last hope of preventing total breakup of the republic is coming daily from all corners of Nigeria. We demand that the Federal Government waste no further time to earnestly address this uniform demand from all component ethnicities of Nigeria. Failure to adhere to this warning will assuredly leave nothing to salvage, as the federation will likely disintegrate. Time is definitely of the essence.
6. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) protects the right of agitation and protest. It is a fundamental right that entitles every indigenous group in the world to seek and agitate for self-determination. Igbo indigenes are no different. We remind dictator Muhammadu Buhari and his collaborators that throughout history, guns have never prevailed over idea. By trampling on the rights of agitators within its territory, Nigeria concedes any claim to both their loyalty and its membership of the community of civilized nations. Therefore, rather than persist with its self-defeating, self-destructive adventure, Nigeria should take urgent steps to address the inequities and injustices, which unequivocally validate these agitations. Ultimately, this is the only avenue to peace and tranquility.
7. WIC will lead a mobilization of international awareness and opinion against the dastardly acts of oppression and support all Igbo people in New York area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New England) and in London, UK as well as all world centers to simultaneously create this awareness at the meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations which will be attended by world leaders including Buhari. Ndi Igbo will also be supported by WIC to create this awareness before CNN headquarters in Atlanta as well as in all major media houses and states Capitols. Intimidation and genocide Ndi-Igbo have consistently suffered in the hands of federal Nigeria, and which has only been relived in the current invasion and must stop.”