The five groups, in a statement by their spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, insisted on their ultimatum to the Igbo to move out of the 19 northern states.
The groups said the statement on Thursday was meant to clarify their stand on the controversies that the ultimatum had generated.
The coalition also berated el-Rufai and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, for not supporting their cause, saying the two governors took sides because of their “blind ambition for the vice-presidency.”
El-Rufai and Shttima had, on Wednesday, condemned the threat by the youth, noting that the northern governors had taken measures to guarantee the rights of all Nigerians living in the 19 states in the northern geopolitical zones.
Speaking for the youth leaders, Suleiman said, “We are disappointed by the treacherous positions assumed by governors Nasir el-Rufai and Kashim Shettima, who, in pursuit of their blind ambition for the vice-presidency, chose to side with the secessionist Igbo against the interest of peace-loving Nigerians.
“The governors are known to be waiting in the wings for Mr. President to die, so they can further their plots to seek the Presidency.
“We are irked by the hordes of lies issued by Shettima, ostensibly on behalf of the 19 northern governors, in which he referred to us as faceless. Shettima has disconnected from reality.”
The groups stated that they had never called on anybody to embark on violence as a means of conflict resolution.
They added, “We restate our determination and commitment to ensuring that the North will never partake in any contrived arrangement that would still have the Biafran Igbo as a component.
“We reiterate our call on Nigerian authorities and recognised international bodies such as ECOWAS, the AU (African Union) and the UN (United Nations) to hasten the initiation of the process for the final actualisation of the Biafran nation and, with it, the excision of the Igbo out of the present federation.
“We urge the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to initiate the process for a peaceful referendum to allow the Igbo to go. Let them go.”
All attempts to get a reaction from el-Rufai’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Samuel Aruwan, proved abortive due to a bad telephone connection. He had yet to respond to a text message as of 9pm on Thursday.
The spokesman of Borno State Governor, Mallam Isa Gusau, said the governor would not take issue with the youth.
“If there is no nation, where do you realise your ambition. Governor Kashim Shettima and the rest of his colleagues are foremost interested in the existence and unity of Nigeria,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum said on Thursday that it was not a party to the coalition’s decision, adding that the ACF stood by its earlier statement.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, in an interview, said, “Our stance has not changed. We would not encourage any act that is not in conformity with the law by any group or individuals which will do no one any good. We appeal for caution over unguarded utterances that can jeopardise the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria.”
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