In a response to the claims by Mr. Nathaniel Uzomah, the President of the South-West Chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr. Paul Ibe, the Media Adviser to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has described the statement as a blatant lie.
Uzomah had stated that Mr. Atiku was among the northern leaders who were silent following the 3 months quit notice given to the Igbos from the north.
Atiku’s aide however noted that the former vice president issued a statement on June 7 concerning the ultimatum issued by the Arewa Youth.
“We would not have dignified Nathaniel Uzomah with a response but for the implication of the intended mischief of the listing of the name of the former Vice President.
“For the avoidance of doubt, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar had on June 7, 2017 issued a statement chastising the northern youth coalition for the ultimatum to Igbos to vacate the North. He also took exception to the counter response by a Southeast group, warning that such a scenario was a recipe for crisis. (See Atiku Abubakar’s press statement of June 7, 2017: https://www.facebook.com/Atiku.org/posts/10155419904159640).
“Atiku Abubakar restates his abhorrence to the shocking ultimatum by a Northern youth coalition to the Igbos to quit the region and the counter response by a South-east group. He notes that the unwarranted rhetoric is provocative, reckless and poses great threat to national security and peaceful co-existence.
“Atiku Abubakar reminds everyone that the Southeast and the North are two regions united by a common history. Some of the most prominent South-easterners actually had their humble beginnings in the North. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Odumegwu Ojukwu were both born in Zungeru, Niger State. Many others, too numerous to mention, were also birthed in the North and vice versa.
“By virtue of their age, many of our youths may not know that the first elected mayor of Enugu was Umaru Altine, a Fulani from Northern Nigeria elected in 1956. Or that a year later a South easterner, Felix Okonkwo, was appointed a member of the Northern Nigeria House of Chiefs.
“With such rich legacies, we can’t afford to allow misguided elements to divide us. Nigerians must talk to each other, not at each other. The whole of Nigeria is greater than the sum of her parts.
“Atiku Abubakar commends the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo for rising up to the challenge by initiating dialogue with leaders of the zones. He expressed his commitment and willingness to avail the government of the benefits of his experiences in forging lasting peace and stability.
“Atiku Abubakar believes that we must all become one until, our enemies are none! That Nigeria is one united country because we, who are committed to Nigeria’s unity are more than those few who are not.”