Wednesday, 7 June 2017

El-Rufai orders arrest of Arewa youths that threatened Igbos

Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai has ordered the arrest of leaders of the Arewa groups that issued an ultimatum to Igbos residing in the northern part of the country to leave before October.

Nine northern based youth groups had on Tuesday, presented a position paper in Kaduna asking all Igbo residing in the northern part of the country to leave or face ‘ejection.’

El-Rufai speaking through his senior special assistant, Samuel Aruwan while presenting the position of the state government on the matter, said the state government has ordered the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the signatories to the statement and condemns in strongest terms the press statement by the “northern youths.”

“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 should prepare charges and prosecute the signatories and anyone complicit in arranging this egregious assault on the rights of fellow citizens,” he said.

He added that 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.

“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 governor added.

He said the Kaduna State Government believed 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. 

"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,” he added. 

He urged residents to continue to shun agents of division, and to stand firm in upholding a common humanity, saying everyone has a right to live in peace and harmony.
The governor assured every resident of the state that nobody can tamper with their freedom to reside where they choose adding that the state government has been consistent in taking action to punish hate speech and incitement. 

Leaders of the Arewa groups that were signatory to the statement are; Nastura Ashir Sharif, for Arewa Citizens Action for Change;  Amb. ShettimaYerima, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum;  Aminu Adam, Arewa Youth Development Foundation;  Alfred Solomon, Arewa Students Forum;  Abdul-Azeez Suleiman,  Northern Emancipation Network;  JoshuaViashman, Northern Youth Vanguard;  Mohammad A.  Mohammad,  Northern Youth Stakeholders Forum;  Mohammed Tasiu Pantami , North East Aseembly and  Nathaniel Ajegena  Adigizi, North Central Peoples Front.

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