The elder statesman advised the Arewa youths to avoid bloodshed in their quest to rid the north of other Nigerians, especially Igbo nationalities.
Ikedife, addressed newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State, where he observed that the long expected split of the country may have finally come.
He noted that it seems that even restructuring which was being proposed to resolve the national question had already been overtaken by events given possible outcome of the quit notice to the Igbo in the north.
He said, “It is a truism that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. As these people say they are youths, I take it that they are speaking with youthful exuberance with a touch of unguarded reckless talk.
“I can’t support the incitement or promotion of ethnic hatred. It is an ill wind that blows no good to anybody.
“If Nigeria will disintegrate into five or four countries like some other countries of the world, let us do it in a modern way.
“Let us do it without bloodshed. Great Britain voted to leave the European Union; there is no question of chasing non nationals, or talking of confiscating their property. Such approach is reckless and dangerous.
“Now, there is simmering all over the place and I think it is the duty of the Northern elders, if they do not support the youths, to come out openly, clear and condemn it, it may leave the impression that the elders are using them to fly the kites.
“The elders must ensure that they control the youths to ensure that they do not break into rampageous mob -like actions against anybody, be it Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, Ibibio, Anang, Tiv, or any other ethnic nationality.
“So, it is a sign of the time and if we are going to go apart, let us go apart as bloodlessly as possible. The Igbo are not talking about war. Let us do it in a civilized way.
“You see, I can almost bet that these people who are calling for war or making inflammatory statements never witnessed the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. They were not even casual observers. Most of them were not born then.”