The United Nations, UN, has called for the arrest and prosecution of Northern youths that on June 6 issued a “quit notice” to Igbo living in the region.
Though the coalition last week announced the withdrawal of the notice, it vowed to pursue their other listed demands up to the UN.
The Northern youths’ demands include that the government labels the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a terrorist organization and the immediate arrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
They also want government to conduct a referendum to allow the Igbos have “their Republic of Biafra”.
However, in a statement issued in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN called on the Nigerian Government to also take immediate steps to arrest those behind a song that seeks to disparage the Igbos.
The statement was signed by Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere; Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Fernand de Varennes, and Ms. Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The statement said, “We are gravely concerned about this proliferation of hate messages and incitement to violence against the Igbo and their property, especially considering the previous history of such violence.
“The Government must be vigilant, as hate speech and incitement can endanger social cohesion and threaten peace by deepening the existing tensions between Nigeria’s ethnic communities.
”The ultimatum was issued on June 6 during a press briefing by the coalition. It had asked the Igbos to vacate the region on or before October 1.
“We are deeply concerned that some prominent local leaders and elders have not condemned the ultimatum, hate speech and the perpetrators.
“We call on the Government, media and civil society representatives, and local and religious leaders, to reject and condemn hate speech and incitement to violence unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms.
“The UN experts said any incidents of hate speech and incitement to violence had to be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished.
“This includes the people behind the ultimatum and those responsible for the creation, publication and circulation of the hate song and audio message.”