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El-rufai Kaduna Governor orders arrest of youths who threatened Igbos

The notice advised Igbos living in the northern region of the country to leave before October 1, 2017.

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Nasir El-Rufai play

Nasir El-Rufai

(Daily Post)

The Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir Elrufai has ordered the arrest of Northern youths involved in Tuesday's quit notice issued to Igbos in the north to vacate the region.

The notice was issued by the Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY), advising Igbos living in the northern region of the country to leave before drastic actions will be taken to remove them starting from October 1, 2017.

The declaration had also advised Northerners in the eastern region to vacate those regions and move back to the north.

ALSO READ: Northern youths declare war on Igbos, ask them to leave the North in 90 days

In a press conference presided over by Gov. Elrufai's spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, he disclosed that the governor had asked the state's attorney general to file charges against anyone involved in the 'war'declaration.

The statement read, "The Kaduna state government took exception to the fact that the ‘northern youths’ did their irresponsible press conference in Kaduna.

"This government has been consistent in taking action to punish hate speech and incitement. People who may feel unhappy about irresponsible comments or actions that have taken place in other states must know that two wrongs cannot make a right and they cannot use our state to do or say things that threaten the peace.

"Kaduna state government has therefore ordered the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the signatories to the statement.

"The Kaduna state government condemns in the strongest terms the press statement by some self-appointed ‘northern youths’ that threatened the safety and property of our citizens of Igbo extraction.

"Government assures every resident of our state that their constitutional and human rights to live peacefully and own property wherever they choose is sacrosanct.

"Even people who may feel unhappy about irresponsible comments or actions that have taken place in other states must know that two wrongs cannot make a right.

"The Kaduna state government believes in and will uphold the right of every Nigerian to live safely and develop his/her full potentials within its territory.

"Reckless disregard for the rights of other citizens drips through the press statement by these 'northern youths' who have chosen to use the discourse around restructuring to promote their own agenda of hate, division and incitement.

"This sort of opportunists cannot be allowed to distort debate, or turn it into a pretext for a barely-disguised agenda of displacement and dispossession of some citizens.

"We will not tolerate such irresponsible statements and conduct in our state. The statement issued by the 'northern youths' violates the laws of Kaduna state.

"Therefore, the Kaduna state government has directed that its ministry of justice to prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens.

"Preparatory to prosecution, the police have been directed to immediately arrest, interrogate the signatories to the statement and investigate all the circumstances and persons that may be implicated in the matter.

"The Kaduna State Government urges all residents to ignore the threats from the 'northern youths'. We are in contact with the leadership of the Igbo community in Kaduna, and we are delighted to say that this community, like all our other communities, believes in the strength of the constitutional order to protect all citizens.

"Kaduna state government wishes to encourage all our people to celebrate the diversity with which the Almighty has blessed us, to continue to shun agents of division, and to stand firm in upholding a common humanity. Everyone has a right to live in peace and harmony."

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.

In the declaration, the group expressed its displeasure with the Igbos' constant agitation for its own independent nation, citing it as one of the key reasons for the declaration.

"From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, a critical player in the Nigerian project, hereby declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the Igbos and shall take definite steps to end the partnership by pulling out of the current federal arrangement.

“This conclusion is necessitated by the realization that it since ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbos who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions."

ALSO READ: Biafra group asks Igbos to leave the North

In response, the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign States of Biafra (MASSOB) begged Igbos to start vacating the region, saying it wasn't surprised by the aggressive act.

MASSOB leader Comrade Uchenna Madu said the group agrees with the coalition's decision, saying Igbos should reinvest in Biafra.

"MASSOB is aware that such rascality will happen. As a matter of fact, this is the only rascality exhibited by sponsored Arewa youths to forcefully exit the people of Biafra residing in Arewa land that MASSOB will 100 per cent support. Their Boko Haram tactics didn’t work as planned. We pledge our total support towards this divinely approved quit notice.

"MASSOB urge our people to start returning home now. Don't wait till the three months for quit notice to expire.

"MASSOB is begging our people to reinvest their investments back to Biafra land."

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