Sit-at-home violence: Protect Northerners, AYCF urges South-East Governors
By: Femi Mustapha
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has asked governors of southeastern states to take measures to protect the lives and properties of Northerners living as minorities in southeastern communities as the IPOB Sit-at-home enforcement violence escalates.
A statement by the President of the AYCF, Yerima Shattima on Thursday condemned what he called the mindless, unrelenting violent disturbances created by certain interest groups in the South-East, in the form of the agitation for a separate State of Biafra.
“Aware that the perpetrators of violence relentlessly pursuing this agenda of destruction and collective mayhem, fervently hope it will engulf the entire country and bring about the mass killings and suffering of innocent people, the AYCF is today calling for guaranteed protection of the lives and properties of Northerners in the entire southeast.
“We are worried that often the mindless violence and extremist terrorist actions perpetrated by IPOB and its followers in the South-East result in resort to the long-practiced tactics of attacks against northerners and against agents and symbols of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“We are therefore compelled to demand from the South-East governors’ action to ensure an environment in which the Northerner is safe and secure wherever he chooses to live and work in the Southeast just as the North is ready to support other Nigerians to benefit from our tolerance and accommodation if they show appropriate respect for the context of their livelihoods.
“It is in our culture to welcome and live with outsiders, and we must never tire of reminding other Nigerians that the laws of the land demand that every Nigerian lives and earns his legitimate living in any part of Nigeria without discrimination or molestation,” Shettima said.
He, however, said the North is very much aware that, unlike the previous set of governors of the southeastern states, the current state administrations are showing some level of commitment to resisting the terrorist tactics of the IPOB.
“We also commend the renewed gallantry of our troops under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to checkmate the maneuvers of all terror outfits in the country,” he said.