Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has been honoured with the chieftaincy title of Ochi-Udo Ndigbo, Kaduna (Peacemaker of Igbo) over the role he played during the quit notice order issued by some youth group last year to Nd’Igbo in the region.
Northern youths under the umbrella of Coalitions of Arewa Youths had in June, 2017 issued a quit notice to Igbo people in the 19 northern states to leave the region within three months or be forced out after October 1, 2017.
The youths had in an open letter to the then Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, urged him to facilitate an easy exit for the Igbo to leave the north.
However, El-Rufai kicked against the order and ordered the arrest and prosecution of the Northern youths to serve as a deterrent to others.
In marking this year’s Igbo Cultural Day Celebration in Kaduna, the President-General, Igbo Community Welfare Association, Kaduna chapter, Mr. Chris Nnoli told the governor that the Igbo people in the 19 northern states appreciated his good deeds during that period.
He added that the governor’s singular act on the quit notice at that time reaffirmed their belief that every Nigeria has a right to reside in any part of the country without hindrance.
“We thank you so much sir, and in appreciation, have unanimously agreed to confer you with the award/title of Ochi-Udo Ngigbo Kaduna, meaning Peacemaker of Igbo.
“We reserve October, of every other year, to celebrate and showcase our cultural heritage as a way of further uniting our people and strengthening the existing cordial relationship between ourselves, the State government and host communities, neighbours and friends, but the delay in 2018’s ceremony was due to security challenges in the state at the time, we were supposed to hold the event,” he said.
El-Rufai in his speech after being conferred with the chieftaincy title Ochi-Udo Ndigbo Kaduna by the High Traditional Rulers of the Igbo, promised to continue to protect lives and property of everyone Nigerians doing their legitimate in the state.
He said anyone who has lived and done business in the state for years, automatically becomes part and parcel of the state