The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has rejected the recent call by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), on the Middle Belt region to join its sit-at-home campaign, calling on governors to seal shops that are being closed in solidarity with IPOB.
In a statement signed by the group’s national president, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group said the North had come a long way in understanding the use of constitutional and democratic means of channelling legitimate grievances, and cannot, therefore, be a party to any undemocratic move.
AYCF lamented that the governors of the Southeast seem to be satisfied with the activities of IPOB, expressing hope that they will continue with the sit-at-home for another ten years.
“We call on northern governors to step up action to ensure this outlawed terror gang called IPOB does not infiltrate the region.
“We also expect the governors to ensure that any Northerner who shuts down his shop in solidarity with IPOB, should have his shop sealed forever,” the group warned.
Yarima further said they will not fold their arms and watch the North get further destabilized by a violent strategy, adding that the region already had its hands full with challenges of insecurity.
AYCF, in the statement, condemned the use of killings and arson to press home a demand that the democratic process in existence would have taken care of.
The group called on Northerners of good conscience to avoid any undemocratic means, including the burning of government-owned structures, where fellow Nigerians legitimately work to feed their families.
‘Igbos in North should stay away’
Also, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) on Monday threatened to get businesses of Igbos living in the North revoked if they comply with the one-month sit-at-home order declared by the IPOB.
The outlawed group had threatened to direct Igbos across Nigeria to observe a one-month sit-at-home order if the federal government fails to release their leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja after a press briefing, the CNG spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, described the development in the South East as “unfortunate”, saying the Northern youths would not tolerate the Igbos complying with IPOB’s directive while they live in the North.
“The development in the South East is very unfortunate, we have foreseen this, we alerted the nation, we alerted the international community that decisive action has to be taken over how the IPOB is going about its agitations, now we are being vindicated,” Suleiman said.
According to him, the North does not have problems with the North or the Igbos in the North doing their businesses peacefully.
He added, “We have seen a new statement by IPOB directing all Igbos living anywhere in Nigeria which includes the north to participate in the one-month sit at home.
“What we are saying is that at least the Igbos in the north are not intimidated or threatened.
“On our part, we are going to warn any trader that complies with the IPOB directive in the north, that definitely we shall take steps to see that his business place is revoked.
“We don’t have a problem with IPOB here, we don’t have problems with Igbos here, they are doing their businesses peacefully but if they comply with that order, it means they are also with the people that are challenging us in the state.
“So, we will not want any Igbo man to comply with that in northern Nigeria, but if they want to do it in the South, it is their problem not here in the North,” he stated.