Aug 8,2017 @ 4: 04 PM
FORMER Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned a song he said wished the people of Igbo ethnic group dead, warning that the country should not be allowed to slide into genocide like Rwanda.
Atiku’s condemnation drew the support of prominent northerners, including former Kaduna State governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa; Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed; and Arewa Youth Consultative Forum leader, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, who said such a development should not be tolerated by the government.
Atiku in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, entitled: “Nigeria Does Not Need a Rwandan Deja vu,” urged all Nigerians to condemn what he said was “reminiscent of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide.” He called on security agencies to fish out and bring to trial those responsible for the song but did not give further details of the song he was referring to.
Atiku said: “I totally and unequivocally condemn this development, and I call on all men of goodwill to rise up against this evil. This song is reminiscent of the beginnings of the Rwanda genocide. Nigerians need to be aware that the Rwanda genocide was believed to have been ignited by a song entitled, Nanga Abahutu (I hate Hutus), sang by Rwanda’s then most popular musician, Simon Bikindi. God forbid that we should have such a déjà vu in Nigeria.
“I call on the security agencies to thoroughly and decisively swing into action and apprehend, try, convict and severely punish those behind this ungodly song which incites racial hatred. I commiserate with the people of Ozubulu in Anambra State, who lost family members in the fatal shooting that also left almost a score injured. I pray that peace will return to their minds and their community soon, even as the police work hard to get to the bottom of the matter. May God comfort them as no man can.”
Reacting, former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said: “I have not heard about the song but I am aware that the National Assembly is working on how to come up with a law against hate speeches. “What every Nigerian should do is to support every effort geared towards coming up with a law against hate speech. When such law is enacted, I am sure that the problem will be tackled.”
In his reaction, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr Junaid Mohammed, said the hate song was condemnable and should not be allowed. He said: “I have not heard the song but I condemn such songs in strong terms whatever the motivation behind it is. However, I must say former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, is being mischievous about his statements because what is happening in Nigeria has no semblance of what transpired in Rwanda.”
Also condemning the hate song, National President of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, dissociated himself and the group from it. Shettima said: “I heard it. We condemn it and we have no business with that, we are not violent and we will not accept responsibility for such madness. We are not part of it, we dissociate ourselves from it and we do not even know the origin of the song. We are working with other progressives who are willing to join hands to build the country. That is what we have been doing.”
In its reaction, Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, asked Fulani and Hausa Muslims or herdsmen to leave the eastern region latest October 2, 2017, saying any of them who stayed beyond that date would be on his own. Secretary of the ECA and Founder of Igbo Youths Movement, IYM, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, made this known in Enugu, yesterday, saying the decision to expel Hausa and Fulani herdsmen or Muslims was taken at the Nnamdi Kanu Centre, yesterday afternoon.
He said: “The Hausa song is a week old. We have listened to it and analysed it. We, the leaders of various Igbo groups met today, at the Nnamdi Kanu Centre and resolved that Hausa/Fulani Muslims or herdsmen must leave the Eastern region. “News reaching us indicates that four major Igbo groups took the decision at the Nnamdi Kanu Centre in Abia State today (yesterday.) “We are only after the Hausa/ Fulani herdsmen.
“We are not against the Idoma, Tiv, Igalla, Bachama, Zango- Kataf; Ibira or any other tribe in the Middle Belt or elsewhere. We are not against the Southern Kaduna people or the Christians or Muslims in Adamawa, Benue, Plateau, Kogi among others. “We do not want any Hausa or Fulani GOC, soldiers, Commissioner of Police, policemen or Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, in our place from October 2.
“Those who crafted the Igbo hate song are those against restructuring of the country. They want us to continue with the unitary system of government because they hate hard work. They don’t want the country to progress or grow.”
The Igbo Women Assembly, IWA, which reacted through its National President, Chief Marie Okwo said those who posted the Igbo hate song online or in their blogs were not God and would never decide for Igbo on what they wanted In his reaction, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, warned that the song was a sign of a genocide coming.
He warned that nothing should happen to any Igbo man in the 19 Northern states or anywhere in the country. According to Isiguzoro, plan is the second phase of the plan to kill Ndi Igbo in the 19 Northern states from October 1. Isiguzoro said the hate song was given to Almajiris in the North to circulate, preparatory to their planned attack on October 1 and called on the Federal Government to rise and protect Ndigbo.
“I call on the Federal Government to rise up and protect Ndi Igbo in the North or Ndigbo should be ready to defend themselves in the North. “I also call on the Arewa youths to still abide by our discussion which still even ongoing. Arewa youths should step in to half the circulation of the hate song and ensure the protection of Ndigbo or else,’’ OYC president warned.