Protesters, under the umbrella of Amalgamation of Northern Women Association (ANWA), have asked the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to call for a referendum to enable the Igbos in the South-East to realise their much-touted Biafra Republic.
The protesters were carrying placards and banners at the Unity Fountain in Abuja on Saturday, with different inscriptions such as; “allow the Igbos go, we don’t want another civil war”, “Stop killing Northerners in South-East”, “President Muhammadu Buhari should allow a referendum for South-East”, among others.
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While addressing newsmen during the protest, the coordinator of the group, Hajia Hadiza Adamu, said Northerners irrespective of their tribes were no longer safe in the South-East.
“Nigerian history has shown that women carry the heavy burden of war and acts of insurrections and terrorism.
“We have gone through it from 1967 to 1971, our men died and left us with the children to cater for out of nothing, other men that survived simply moved on, but we never moved on.
“We, therefore, unanimously call on President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader and father of the country and the leadership of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawal, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt, Hon, Femi Gbajabiamila, to immediately call for a referendum in the country.
“Let people choose to live in peace in Nigeria or leave.
“Any other group or nationality that wants to secede or exercise their rights of self-determination like the South-East has been agitated for decades to be allowed to leave Nigeria peacefully, without resorting to a second civil war.
“Today the Igbo nation has turned the entire South-East to almost a war zone. Northerners irrespective of their tribes are no longer safe.
“It is in the light of the above that we are saying enough is enough and let Mr President allow for a referendum that will make Igbos realize their long term dream of being a Biafra nation.
“No more killing of Northerners, no more killing of police officers, no more profiling of Northerners and attacking their businesses,” she said.
The Southeastern region of Nigeria wants to secede, claiming marginalisation and injustice by the federal government.
This agitation is being championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group that has since been proscribed by the federal government.
In recent weeks, the group has attacked public infrastructure and killed security operatives in the region.