90 Days Ultimatum Arewa youths paid by elite to threaten Igbos, says presidential aide

The presidential aide made the comments at a meeting with regional youth leaders in Abuja during the weekend.

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Senator Babafemi Ojudu play

Senator Babafemi Ojudu

(Today)
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Special Adviser on Political Matters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has claimed that Arewa youths who threatened Igbo residents in the north with an eviction notice have been paid by the region's elite.

The Senator addressed the issue at a meeting with regional youth leaders in Abuja during the weekend.

While speaking at the meeting, he urged youths in the country to conduct themselves better and refuse to be manipulated by people with selfish intentions.

He said, "It will be worst for us if we allow some selfish people to push us to unnecessary war. Nigeria holds a lot of promises for all of us.

"I know and we all know that a lot of you have been excluded from the good things of this country and of course we can trace that to poor and bad governance over the years.

"But again, what we should be clamoring for is good governance, not separatism, not secession.

"This is all about elite competition. The youth are only being used as tools to promote socio-political disorder.

"Okay, if I don’t want to be importing things from Singapore, I can use this idea of Biafra to make money and some people are making huge money from it.

"Those, who were agitating and calling for Biafra before, are now singing another tune after building their palaces."

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The threat was issued on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by the Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY), advising Igbos living in the northern region of the country to leave before October 1, 2017.

The coalition of 16 different groups, which includes Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network, promised to execute measures to carry out their declaration.

The statement by the coalition has been met with widespread criticism, including an arrest order from Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai days later.

After meeting with northern political and religious leaders last week, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo warned that those responsible for the ultimatum risked jail terms as they violated the country's laws.

He said, "The manner of those agitations, the method and objectives are wrong, unlawful and the violation of the laws of Nigeria and the constitution of Nigeria.

"I want to repeat that both the agitations for secession and the ultimatum to leave the Northern states are wrong and a violation of our constitution.

"Our constitution says in Section 2 that Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be known by the name the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that is the law of our country.

"Let us not be in any doubt about the fact that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that our country remains united. And that anyone who violates the law in the manner such as we are seeing all over the place will be met with the full force of the law."

Osinbajo will further meet for peace talks with traditional rulers from the region today, June 19, 2017.