A women group Saturday staged a protest in Abuja to demand a referendum to resolve the agitation for the creation of Biafra.
The group, Amalgamation of Northern Women Associations, was led by Hadiza Adamu.
She told newsmen that the referendum should allow the Biafran agitators to choose whether or not they want to remain in Nigeria.
The women group subsequently appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawal, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, to consider allowing a referendum over the question.
She lamented that northerners, irrespective of their ethnicity and cultural affinity, do not feel safe any longer in the South-east, which has become a war zone as a result of the separatist agitation by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) coupled with the activities of its militant arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
“Let people choose to live in peace in Nigeria or leave, any other group or nationality that wants to secede to exercise their rights of self-determination like the South-east that has been agitating 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, states’ infrastructure are no longer safe, service personnel from police to army are not safe, INEC offices and other symbols of democracy in the country are being destroyed on daily basis, our husbands that go to do business in the South-east no longer return home safe, our political leaders, who travel to the South-east on national assignments, are assassinated in broad daylight,” Adamu said.
She lamented that many of them were abandoned to carry the burden of catering for their families after losing their husbands during the first civil war from 1967 to 1970, adding that government should prevent a reenactment of the situation by allowing self-determination for the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
“Nigerian history has shown that women carry the heavy burden of war and acts of insurrection and terrorism. We have gone through it from 1967 to 1970. 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 (have) come together today and say we don’t want another war, another insurrection,” Adamu said.