A group of women under the aegis of the Amalgamation of Northern Women Associations, staged a protest on Saturday, June 5, in Abuja, demanding a referendum to allow secession agitators to chose whether or not to remain in Nigeria.
The coordinator of the group, Hajia Hadiza Adamu, spoke on behalf of other members.
She said: “We are the amalgamation of Northern women from all parts of the North, north-central, north-west and northeast. We as mothers are always at the receiving end of any war, insurrection, killings, and acts of terror.
“When our men were killed, we were raped and our children rendered orphans, we have nowhere to run to. 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.”
“The aftermath of the war and the sufferings left lifetime scars in our hearts and on our bodies. It is for this reason that we come together today and say we don’t want another war, another insurrection.”
Adamu emphasised that the group is calling on President Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to urgently call for a referendum to allow those who want to secede to do so without any war.
She continued: “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 o, exercise their rights of self-determination like the southeast has been agitated for decades to be allowed to leave Nigeria peacefully, without resorting to a second civil war.”
Adamu lamented that the secessionist agitation has turned the southeast region into a warzone, adding that northerners no longer feel safe there.
Her words: “Today the Igbo nation has turned the entire southeast to almost a war zone, northerners irrespective of their tribes are no longer safe, States’ infrastructures are no longer safe, service personnels from police to army are not safe, INEC offices and other symbols of democracy in the country are been destroyed on daily basis, our husbands that goes to do business in southeast no longer return home safe, our political leaders who travels to the southeast on national assignments are assassinated in broad daylight.
“Commuters in the southeast are often forced out of vehicles to be profiled and if they are northerners, they are usually executed there and then.”