A former Vice-Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has declared that he has freedom of speech and can utter anything he likes.
He said this in an interview with the Punch over his backing of the ultimatum by Arewa youths that Igbos should leave the North on or before October 1, 2017. Abdullahi, who is the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum, insists Nigeria has been divided for a long time and that his comment did not just cause that.
“The country had already been polarised. It is already polarised. Well, maybe it added another dimension to the polarisation but the country had been polarised. As far as I am concerned, the country has been polarised for a long time.
“Am I too important not to be arrested if I have committed an offence? If I have committed a crime; of course, why not? It is also an opinion; some people may wish me dead. Is that not so? There might be some people who want me arrested. “I thought that all countries have legal systems that qualify offences and depending on the gravity of the offence, measures are taken against offenders and so on.
“If I have committed an offence, I expect that somebody would have drawn my attention to it, but I don’t think anybody has drawn my attention to an offence that I have committed. All I have done is to express my freedom of speech and this is guaranteed in the country as far as I know.
“The Igbo said they want to leave Nigeria. They have been saying this for a long time. They have wanted to leave Nigeria since 1967, when we had the civil war and they have not stopped asking to leave Nigeria.
“So this time, the youths must have seen that they needed help to leave Nigeria and it is a good thing if they can mobilise themselves back from every part of Nigeria, including the North of course, to go back home and really concentrate on building the Biafra state they have been dreaming about. And we will support them; I will support them in that direction.”