The regional added that the North has not gained anything from the present arrangement of the country and would not be hurt by any break-up.
The northern leaders, under the aegis of the Arewa Elders’ Forum (AEF), said though they could survive in a divided Nigeria, they would not be the cause of the break-up.
A leader of the new group and a former Special Adviser to former-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Food Security, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, told the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), monitored in Kaduna, that the North has always been on its own and could survive without the oil resources from the South.
The former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, was reacting to calls from southern leaders for the convocation of an SNC.
In the full interview, the Prof. Ango Abdullahi said:
“We are not new to the plots and antics that have been going on for more than two decades. Some southerners are saying that our federal structure is faulty and full of unbalances and biases. But there are others who are calling for restructuring and there are some of them using this to say they are through with being in Nigeria.
“What we discussed is, we will never be part of any sinister moves to divide this country. But the southerners that are propounding dividing the country should know that it is also not something that the north will not want. We can be on our own; we have not seen what the north is eating that the south is not eating.
He continued: “That the north is keeping quite doesn’t mean we don’t know what we are doing. We want peace and unity but no one can intimidate us, let Nigeria be divided, who is afraid if it is divided? We have nothing to lose, and have been on our own for long. We are on our own and not at the mercy of other people. Our masses have been on their own, eating and surviving and not at the expense of the south.
“We have been feeding ourselves and entire Nigeria with our agriculture base, in the past and up to tomorrow. Our lands have not vanished and natural resources under it, both tapped and untapped. We have all agricultural bases as inheritance from our fathers. And our lands are intact. All the factories and the rest are from the inputs and if we go back to what God blessed the north with.
“We will not in any way lose, because God has blessed us, and those that don’t have what we have are surviving not to talk of us. We are standing on our own and we have all it takes to stand on our own, like we have been standing independently.”