The newspapers for Monday, June 19, focus on the call by some prominent leaders from the three geopolitical zones in the country urging the northern youths to withdraw the ultimatum issued to Igbos in the northern parts of the country.
Some prominent leaders form the three geopolitical zones in the country have asked the northern youths to rescind the quit notice issued to the Igbos living in the northern part of the country.
Vanguard reports that the leaders at a meeting on Sunday, June 18, warned that the quit notice issued to Igbos in the north will be taken as an ultimatum to all people from Southern Nigeria to quit the north if it is not withdrawn.
The group in a communique issued after the meeting also asked the federal government to implement the report of the 2014 National Conference by October 1, 2017, saying that it will see to the complete transformation and restructuring of the country.
This Day reports that the leaders from the south-west, south-east and south-south declared in the communiqué that they were forging a common front to pursue the interest of the region.
They noted that rather than reduce the issue to the north and the south-east, it was an issue of the entire southern and northern Nigeria.
The group also criticised the manner in which the federal government and the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, have handled the ultimatum given to Igbos resident in the north.
The communique signed by Afenifere chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo, on behalf of the south-west read in part: “We the people of Southern Nigeria, comprising the South-east, South-west and South-south of Nigeria, decided to come together to forge a common and formidable front for the sustenance of sound principles of national development, equity, fairness, social justice and political emancipation.
“The meeting held against the backdrop of the ultimatum given by the Arewa youths to the people of the South-east and by extension to all Southerners to vacate the North by October 1, 2017, and the refusal of the Nigerian state to activate the law against any of them, giving us the impression that these youths are not acting on their own but on the back of their establishment.
“We consider the need to avert the impending danger arising from the ultimatum given by the Arewa youths. We agreed that there is a growing demand by our people and other Nigerians to form a stronger federation in which the principles and practice of true federalism are upheld.
“We observe that the cry for self-determination will continue unabated and become much more stringent unless the federal government sincerely addresses the issue of Nigeria’s restructuring.
“We therefore resolved that we reject the attempt to reduce the current crisis in Nigeria, flowing from the unresolved nationality question, to an Igbo and North affair.
“The meeting therefore insists that any further discussion on this crisis should be between the entire South and the North of Nigeria. The South-east is advised to consider any further meeting where the South-west and South-south are not involved as Southern Nigeria because the issues involved affect all of us.
“We also demand that the Arewa youths and their sponsors must withdraw the quit notice given to the people of the South-east, as failure to do so will be taken as an ultimatum given to the entire Southern Nigeria to quit their region and any attack against anybody from the South, will be considered an attack against Southern Nigeria.
The Guardian reports that some of the prominent leaders at the meeting included, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who led Afenifere; former Chief of General Staff, Com. Ebittu Ukiwe (rtd), who led Ohanaeze; and Chief Albert Horsefal, who led the South South.
Others present include Chief Mike Uwaka; Ohanaeze President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo; Chief Supo Sonibare; former Minister of Information, Dr. Walter Ofonagoro; Prof. George Obiozor; Chief Goddy Uwazurike; Chief Abdulaziz Ude; Mr. Tony Uranta; and Prof. Joe Irukwu.
The newspaper also reported that the Department of State Services (DSS) and police warned the northern youths who issued the quit notice to the Igbos or other citizens to desist or face the dire consequences of their actions.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) has watched with keen interest the disturbing trend desperate and mischievous elements have tended to steer the ship of our nationhood to calamity and irretrievable destruction.
“The service, in line with its statutory mandate of ensuring the internal security of the country, will stop at nothing to deploy all resources at its disposal to identify and deal with all those culpable, as well as maintain peace and order in every length and breadth of the nation," the secret police stated in a statement.
Similarly, the Nigeria Police described the ultimatum by the groups as illegal, unlawful, provocative and capable of causing breach of the peace currently being enjoyed across the country.
Meanwhile, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday, June 18, said it was unlawful for any or group of persons to agitate for the country’s break-up.
The Nation reports that Osinbajo at a meeting with traditional rulers from the southeast said the agitations for the creation of Biafra and the Arewa Youths’ ultimatum for the Igbo to leave the North are against the constitution.
In other news, one of the judges recently recalled from suspension by the National Judicial Council (NJC) is alleged to have received gratification from lawyers.
The special assistant to the president on prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, told the Punch on Sunday, June 18, that the judge was found to have received gratification worth N90m from 100 lawyers.
The presidential aide who did not disclosed the name of the judge said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would likely file charges against the judge and the lawyers by Tuesday (tomorrow).
Obono-Obla accused the NJC of deliberately clearing the judge to resume work despite cases of receiving gratification from lawyers pending against the judicial officer.
In the video below, NAIJ.com TV disuses about the quit notice issued by northern youths to the Igbo living in the north among other issues: