The Pan-Northern Socio-Political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum, yesterday said the North would never secede from Nigeria.
The ACF also floored a former civilian governor of Kaduna State and a leader of the Conference of National Political Parties, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, over what it described as his “unguarded” utterances. It urged elder statesmen to employ civility and maturity in their utterances.
The ACF was reacting to an interview granted by Musa to one of the national dailies.
In the said interview, the CNPP leader was quoted to have said that “I have regarded Afenifere, ACF, Ohanaeze and surrogates, like the APC, as socialist secessionist groups in Nigeria, even though they talk about federalism.”
This, the northern body said, was most embarrassing and provocative, adding that “it was not in the ACF character to respond to such a reckless and unfortunate utterance coming from a former governor and an elder statesman of Balarabe Musa’s status.”
However, the ACF said as an umbrella body for all northerners, it would never support any call on the North to secede from Nigeria.
The National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Muhammadu Ibrahim, in a statement in Kaduna, said, “It is not in the character of the ACF to respond to such a reckless and unfortunate statement, especially by a former governor and an elder statesman.
“However, the ACF found it imperative to state that as an umbrella body for all northerners irrespective of their religion, tribe, ethnicity and political leanings, it has never and will never call on the North to secede from Nigeria.
“It is however the business of the ACF to help and encourage constructively, our political leaders at all levels to pursue their political ambitions consistent with the long-term benefit of our people, survival and development of our country.
“The ACF is therefore not a secessionist group, as its primary objective is to foster, promote, defend and strengthen national unity, peaceful co-existence and development in the context of one indivisible Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the ACF has described as most unfortunate the clash between the military and followers of the Shi’ites’ leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, during which scores of people were reportedly killed in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The forum commended the steps taken by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, to douse the tension and ensure that the crisis did not escalate to other states of the North.