The Igbo Community in Borno State on Saturday held a peace meeting with the people of the state and both sides condemned the eviction threat issued by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF).
The Arewa group had weeks ago issued a three months ultimatum for the Igbos to vacate the 19 northern states. Its threat followed sustained agitation for the secession of the Igbo states of the Southeast Nigeria by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
The eviction threat was widely condemned by different groups and state governments across Nigeria.A Maiduguri-based nongovernmental organisation, Borno State Progressive Associations, initiated a meeting between the host state and the Igbo Community.
Speaking at the meeting that was attended by government officials, traditional chiefs and clerics, the chairman of BOSPA, Asheikh Mamman Gadai, said his group initiated the meeting because they believe in one and indivisible Nigeria.According to him, the IPOB agitation was needleless and should be condemned by the Igbos and other Nigerians.
He also said his group had also dissociated itself from the threat of the AYCF whom he said did not act on behalf of the northerners.
He said BOSPA stood by the earlier statement of the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, who led in the condemnation of the eviction threat of AYCF, a group he said was “unknown”.
He appealed to the two groups to draw lessons from the bitter experiences of the civil war, which he said had left deep scar on the face of Nigeria.
“The Igbos are our brothers and sisters with whom we have been living together peacefully and in harmony,” he said.
“Borno is the home for all Nigerians and we wish to assure the Igbos that they are safe in Borno and they have nothing to fear.”
The representative of the Shehu of Borno, Zannah Boguma, went into memory lane to emphasise how the Igbos had been part of the Borno history dating back to pre-colonial days.He said the Shehu of Borno wants the Igbos to live freely in the state