Leader of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Shettima Yerima has dismissed claims that he is on the run from law enforcement, saying nobody is looking for him.

In an interview with Punch, Yerima said he is ready to make himself available to any security agency that might be willing to talk to him, saying he has nothing to fear.

He said, "I did not go into hiding and will never go into hiding. We need to put the record straight.

"For now, nobody is looking for me and I am ready to submit myself if I am called. I am not a joker. Nobody is looking for me and I am not hiding anywhere from anybody. I am in my village, I am a Nigerian.

"If anybody looks for me, I will submit myself. I am not above the law. I am not on the run.

"Why should I go into hiding? I have a name, I have a face. I am not faceless.

"I am not hiding anywhere. Why should I hide?"

Yerima's group formed the Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY) with 15 other groups and issued a threatening statement on June 6, 2017, advising Igbos living in the northern region of the country to leave before October 1, 2017.

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

Despite the widespread criticism the statement has generated, including an arrest order from Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Yerima stands by the statement, saying the Igbos should clear out of the region.

"Where did I go wrong? Somebody wants to go and I said, 'go, you're free to go'. What is wrong about it?

"You cannot be in our country and begin to clamour for another country.

"Go to your place and declare your own country, not in my zone. It is a simple language. I have not committed any offence," Yerima said.

After meeting with political, religious and traditional leaders from the north and the south east, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo warned that those responsible for the ultimatum risked jail terms as they violated the country's laws.