Some elders in the north have disassociated themselves from the statement attributed to Prof. Ango Abdullahi, to the effect that many people from northern part of the country were killed in the Southeast during the #EndSARS protests.
The elders, who frowned at the statement, asked Nigerians to ignore Abdullahi’s comment, saying it was his personal opinion and not the general position of northern elders, as he portrayed.
The northern elders, under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, in a statement, described Abdullahi’s statement as “false, unfortunate, insensitive, callous and meant to instigate Nigerians against one other,” especially igniting ethnic killings, and asked Nigerians not to fall prey to his antics.
In the statement signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Zana Goni, and National Women Leader, Hajia Mario Bichi, the northern elders said Abdullahi acted alone in his statement, insisting they were not part of it.
They said the elder statesman’s unfounded killing claim at a time Nigerians had put behind them the ugly civil war experiences and were building bridges and working on consolidating national reconciliation, was the least, unfortunate.
“We wish to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the statement credited to a well-read and respected elder statesman from our region, Professor Ango Abdullahi, to the effect that Igbo people killed many northerners in the Southeast during the #EndSARS protest, which was hijacked by some criminal elements.
“We wish to let Nigerians know that Abdullahi’s statement was his personal opinion and did nt represent the position of northern elders, as he had portrayed.
“We expect that an elder statesman of his status with such level of education ought to have known the difference between criminality and ethnic agenda.
“What happened in some Southeast states was a pure act of criminality and not an Igbo agenda and was not peculiar to the region. Nothing can be more misleading than this.”
According to the statement: “People were killed and properties destroyed in several parts of the country, including some parts of the north. It is unfair to attribute this act of some misguided deviants as a collective Igbo agenda.
“It is an established facts that during and after the uprising, so many Igbo group rose to condemn the attacks by these criminals and even shared intelligence with security agencies, which led to the arrest of so many of these misguided youths. Prominent groups in Igbo land also condemned the activities of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in public.
“So, we wonder where Abdullahi got his fact from.
“It is our humble appeal that we guide our comments, especially those capable of igniting hate across the country. We must continue to preach national unity and work together to defeat criminality in our country, instead of attributing such act to a particular region.
“We, therefore, call our northern and southern brother to ignore this statement in its entirety.”
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