Atiku speaks out against anti-Igbo hate song and quit notice
Former vice president of Nigeria under Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, Abubakar Atiku, has condemned quit notice issued by groups in the country as well as hate speeches and anti-Igbo songs.
Atiku urged the federal government to restructure the country and remove the use of state of origin from the country’s constitution.
In a statement issued by his media office, Atiku said: “Just as I strongly condemned the Quit Notice on people of the Igbo ethnic stock living in Northern Nigeria and the counter quit notices that ensued, I also vehemently condemn the retaliatory Quit Notice given by certain elements in other parts of Nigeria to persons of other origins be they Northern, Yoruba or any other ethnic grouping within our country.
“First and foremost, it is a fallacy to believe that there are people of Northern or Southern origin. Nigeria only has people of one origin. We are all of Nigerian origin.
“As Nigerians, we must be pragmatic enough to realise the obvious truth that an eye for an eye will leave Nigeria blind.
“Let me at this juncture remind these ‘quit noticers’ that when brothers fight to the death over a domestic dispute, it is their neighbours that eventually end up inheriting their father’s property.”
Atiku said the issue of people issuing quit notice to one another would happen if people are identified with the state they reside in and not their state of origin.
He said: “It is also for this reason, amongst others, that I have urged and still urge that Nigeria should be restructured and that state of origin ought to be removed from our constitution and other relevant laws and policies, to be replaced by state of residency.
“If we as Nigerians are tied to our residency, rather than the state where our ancestors originated from, this whole idea of Quit Notice would not have arisen in the first place.
“Let us remember that though we have many ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, we are all largely of one race. In the United Arab Emirates, foreigners exceed the native Emiratis in number, yet the UAE is one of the most peaceful nations on earth. If people of different races can live in peace in South Africa and the United States, why can’t we do the same here?
“In fact, I posit that we can and should do the same.
“Finally, let me use this opportunity to commend the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Orientation Agency for taking steps to sanction radio stations that were guilty of playing the Igbo hate song and for embarking on an anti-hate speech drive.
“Nigeria is our only country and our value as human beings is tied to the value of Nigeria. So if we must give ourselves value, we must first give Nigeria value.”
Meanwhile the president-general of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, expressed shock that the leaders from the north had remained silent days after the anti Igbo song was reportedly released.