By Christiana Onuoha
“The Coalition of Northern Groups, Arewa Youths, MACBAN, Northern Elders, the Security Agencies and the Presidency should note that any Niger Deltan or Southerner killed by Northern youths as a result of this threat shall receive severe and adequate response from us. In like manner, all the Northerners resident in the Niger Delta should leave within the next 30 days.” The coalition, in response to the 30 days ultimatum issued by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) to the federal government to implement the Ruga settlement policy cross Nigeria, said.
Best known as Niger Delta Agitators, the Coalition of former militants in the Niger Delta region have warned that they would respond in the same measure should any southern be killed in the north, as a result of the threat by CNG to non northerns to vacate their region.
The Coalition stated also that youths of the northern Nigeria were worsening already tense situation in the country with their 30 days ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government.
Led by Gen. John Dukku, the Agitators in a statement made available to TheLabour, advised the government to rather build the settlement in the large expanse of land at the Sambisa forest instead of looking elsewhere, noting that it was unfortunate that the coalition of northern groups would call for the implementation of a policy that had been suspended by the president and also issued a quit notice to southerners resident in the region.
“The attention of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has been drawn to the recent second round of 30 days ultimatum issued by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) to the Federal Government to forcefully implement the suspended RUGA settlement for Fulani herdsmen across the country or they will resort to self help and destruction of lives and properties of Southerners resident in the North.
“The Coalition of Northern Groups further issued an ultimatum to Southerners living in the North to vacate if their various state governments refused to donate lands to federal government for the implementation of its suspended Ruga settlement within the said 30 days.
“We are surprised that in a time like this when killings of innocent citizens is the order of the day by CNG brothers, we thought CNG and Arewa youths would have risen above ethnic sentiments to condemn the unprovoked killings and the high rate of poverty in the land, rather they are bent on worsening the already tensed situation by issuing unwarranted threat.
“While we see the recent RUGA settlement plan by the Federal Government as its plot to Fulanize and Islamize the entire country by proxy, we also want the CNG to note that there is no settlement in the entire Northern part of Nigeria allocated to any tribe or ethnic group of Southern origin by the federal government under any name or guise. Therefore the recent threat by CNG is ill-conceived and foolishly advised by their sponsors/war mongers who feel they are super humans.
“We therefore also want to re-echo that the entire South-South and Niger Delta would never part any of its land no matter the amount of threat as we are ready for your threats.
“We advise the Northern youths and the Presidency to build their planned Fulani settlements in Sambisa forest and stop chasing shadows as forceful implementation of such ethnic plan would only spell doom for the country.” The statement in part said.
Also, the Coalition went on to say; “At this juncture, we call on the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Police to immediately arrest and prosecute these promoters of hate speech otherwise they should be ready for nationwide violence as soon as the 30 days ultimatum is over.
“In like manner, all the Northerners resident in the Niger Delta should leave within the next 30 days. We are ready for Northern youths and we shall kill ten Northerners in response to any single Southerner killed in the North”.
The statement recalled that the same northern coalition had in 2017 issued a quit notice to southerners in their domain which later sparked off a military action in the southeast, noting that the youths eventually were left to go free.
“We recall in 2017 when they issued the same ultimatum and was condemned by all patriotic Nigerians, and at that time President Buhari was not in the country. On his arrival, instead of ordering for the arrest and prosecution of these promoters of hate speeches, Mr. President rather ordered the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu and subsequently organized and mobilized army under Operation Python Dance to the South East to kill and maim innocent people including children and women.
“At this point we believe there is a grand conspiracy against the South and we would not allow your evil plots to materialize rather we will take the battle to your doorsteps. We note that this is the second time the Northern youths is threatening the unity of this country in connivance with top government officials and security agents, but we want to warn that this time it would not be business as usual again. The Northerners are the ones controlling our natural resources and oil blocs in our backyards yet we tolerated them in the name of one Nigeria.
“We are earnestly waiting for the Northern youths to start the fight and see what would happen. Any killing would be responded to in ten fold. We are not afraid of your threat; our land is not for Fulani terrorists and their likes. We therefore advise all the Southerners in the North to return home or be ready to defend themselves; we also advise all Northerners in the South to either leave or be ready for any eventuality”.