Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano state governor, says the Igbo will stay in the north forever.
He said this in a statement issued by Tanko Yakassai, director-general media and communications, on Saturday.
He said all governors in the region were against ethnic prejudice, as promoted by a certain group of youth, declaring that “the Igbo in the region will stay forever”.
“Even if you want to go on your own, we will not allow you to leave. There is a difference between I will not go and there is no where I can go. You don’t have anywhere to go, this place is your home,” he said.
Receiving leaders of the Igbo Delegate Assembly (IDA) led by Chi Nwogu, its president-general, in Kano on Friday, the governor said even foreigners were residing comfortably in Kano and other parts of northern Nigeria, and that there was no basis to threaten other Nigerians, who collectively fought for the nation’s independence.
“Those advocating ethnic agitation from the east are not speaking for all Igbo. Those of us, who as youth witnessed the civil war, will never advocate secession,” he said.
Ganduje said the northern youth who issued a quit notice to the Igbo in the region had also been called to order by elders, civic and political leaders, including governors and the sultan of Sokoto.
“When you have youth who have no elders, they are similar to riding a horse without a bridle. It can behave anyhow and anything can happening. This is what is happening,” he said.
He described the reconciliatory meeting between the IDA leadership and coalition of northern youth as timely, asserting that all ethnic groups in the country have advantages which if collectively harnessed would make the country greater.
“What is happening in Sudan is a lesson for all of us. The breakup of that country has not taken them anywhere. We cannot afford to make that type of mistake,” he said.
In his remarks, Nwogu said the group was in Kano to meet with the coalition of northern youth groups, in respect of the quit notice issued the Igbo in the region.
“Both of us have agreed to set up a committee to sort out things and ensure that there is peace.” he said.