The Arewa youths, under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Groups, had ordered all the Igbo residing in the North to vacate the region before October 1, 2017.
But, at a press conference attended by the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, in Abuja on Thursday, the Arewa youths said they had withdrawn the quit notice.
The group, which announced the decision through its spokesperson, Abdulaziz Suleiman, also said it would continue to pursue “petitions to the United Nations and the Federal Government calling for appropriate sanctions against Nnamdi Kanu, other IPOB leaders and their sponsors in addition to labelling them a terror group.”
However, reacting to the development, IPOB described the withdrawal of the quit notice as ‘inconsequential’.
Speaking through its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB asked the Arewa youths to ‘stick to the quit notice’, if they had any ‘honour’.
The group equally urged all Igbo and other southerners resident in the core North to discountenance the withdrawal of the notice and return home.
IPOB noted that history had shown that the withdrawal of the notice did not mean that Igbo lives and property were no longer endangered in the North.
Powerful stated, “It is inconsequential to IPOB whether the ‘quit notice’ was rescinded or not because it will in no way impact the pace and direction of our effort to restore Biafra.
“Threats don’t have any effect on us, so our advice to the Arewa North is to please stick to the October 1 deadline or else they have no honour.”
The pro-Biafra group alleged that the ‘quit notice’, which it described as an incitement to genocide, was endorsed by the Northern political leaders.
“The presence of a serving governor and senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the supposed press briefing confirms what we have always known that the incitement to genocide, which is what the ‘quit notice’ is all about, has the blessing of the Arewa political class.”
Just as the Arewa youths had insisted on the re-arrest of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB also urged the Federal Government to arrest leaders of the Northern group.
“If President Muhammadu Buhari is at all serious about clamping down on hate speech, he should arrest those behind the ‘quit notice’ along with their sponsors,” IPOB said.
Arewa youths are cowards, says MASSOB
The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, has described the withdrawal of the quit order as “an open display of cowardice and political impotency.”
MASSOB said it was better not to declare a war one couldn’t win than to threaten and retreat.
In a statement issued on Friday, MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, stated that the Hausa couldn’t withstand the Igbo without the support of the Middle Belt people.
The group alleged that the Hausa people had always used the people of the Middle Belt as stooges and tools to advance their anti-Igbo cause.
MASSOB warned that any attempt to arrest or harass Kanu will “bring a quicker platform for Biafra’s actualisation and restoration.”