- A coalition of concerned Nigerian women led by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, have described IPOB members as ‘misguided advocates of secession’, and stated that the unity of the nation is non-negotiable
- Ita-Giwa recalled the evils of the 1967 Civil War, and stated that the group stands resolutely for the unity of Nigeria; especially at such a critical moment in the nation’s history
- The group urged those who feel marginalized to complain in a good way, as it noted that employing inciting words and denigrating others in speeches simply to gain relevance, was not in the best interest of the nation
A coalition of Nigerian women led by former senator, Florence Ita-Giwa, have stated categorically, that the unity of the nation is not up for negotiation, and cautioned members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to cease their fiery rhetoric, Premium Times report.
The women who coalesced under the group, Nigerian Women for Peaceful Coexistence and Unity, made their comments at an event to mark the nation’s 57th independence anniversary on Sunday, October 1.
NAIJ.com gathered that the group which was also led by Sinatu Ojukutu, the former deputy governor of Lagos; and Kafilat Ogbara, a rights activist, urged members of the outlawed IPOB group, to sheathe their swords.
Ita-Giwa stated: “Many of us here are living witnesses to the horrors of the Nigerian Civil war between 1967 and 1970. Two million innocent souls were lost in that war.
“We lost spouses, fathers, and siblings and loved ones. Many of us lost three years of our lives and our parents had to start life afresh at the end of the war.
“We most passionately call on all such persons to stop forthwith. No nation on earth has ever survived two civil wars. As mothers and grandmothers, we stand resolutely for the unity of Nigeria.
“The federal government needs to review past reports on the subject of restructuring. Having been a refugee during the war, another civil war should not be encouraged.
“Our advocacy is coming at a time when the unity of the country is on the tenterhooks.
“The rising call for Biafra in the south-east and the yet-to-be-defeated insurgency of Boko-Haram in the north-east have been a daily threat to the lives of many Nigerians.”
Also backing Ita-Giwa’s words, Ojikutu stated: “It is obvious these people never experienced the last civil war and they have no knowledge of the consequences of war.
“Employing inciting words and denigrating others in speeches for the dubious purpose of gaining relevance has grave repercussions; we passionately call on such persons to stop.
“If you feel you are marginalised, you can complain in a good way and you don’t have to call for secession.
“We understand the pervasiveness of the issue has forced the FG to deploy the Armed Forces to different parts of the country for the maintenance of law and order.
"We however caution that the deployed troops strictly adhere to proper rules of engagement so that the human rights of citizens can be protected.”
Ojikutu further urged those calling for Nigeria’s division to tone down their rhetoric, describing them as “misguided advocates of secession”.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that a group, Advocate of Social Justice for All (ASJA), has sent a message to the United Kingdom, threatening to occupy its embassy if the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is not extradited to Nigeria.
In a statement signed by its executive director, Asongo Venatius, the group accused the UK of harbouring a terrorist and said the proper thing to do is to extradite him.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video asking if the agitation for Biafra will end with the dissolution of IPOB: