The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has warned against the attack and killing of northerners in the Southern part of the country.
Speaking to newsmen after a closed-door meeting in Abuja on Monday, NEF spokesperson, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, asked northerners who are harassed and attacked to consider relocating to the north.
The forum also condemned the attack on government facilities, security operatives, and national assets in the South East, asking the federal government to arrest and prosecute those involved.
According to Baba-Ahmed, all Igbo and other ethnic groups residing in the north should be accorded the usual hospitality and security.
He, however, said the federal and state governments have a responsibility to enforce the law and protect citizens, adding that the agitation by the Igbo for secession has become widespread.
He said: “This nation has had to fight a terrible war to preserve the country. The north had paid its dues in that war, as indeed it did in many ways throughout the history of the country. Under our current circumstances, no Nigerian should welcome another war to keep the country together.
“The forum has arrived at the difficult conclusion that if support for secession among the Igbo is as widespread as it is being made to look, and Igbo leadership appears to be in support of it, then the country should be advised not to stand in its way.
“It will not be the best choice for the Igbo or Nigerians to leave a country we have all toiled to build and a country we all have the responsibility to fix, but it will not help a country already burdened with failures on its knees to fight another war to keep the Igbo in Nigeria.”