Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered the immediate arrest of all signatories to a statement issuing a three-month ultimatum to all Igbos to leave northern Nigeria.
The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant- Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday also assured residents in the state of “their freedom to reside where they choose”, adding that the “constitutional right of every Nigerian to own property, move freely and to live in peace and harmony is sacrosanct”.
A press conference addressed in Kaduna today by a spokesperson for the governor, Samuel Aruwan stated the governor has directed the Attorney General in state to file charges against the youths that gave the ultimatum asking Igbos to leave the north while urging Northerners in the South-East to leave the area from October 1, 2017, which happens to be Nigeria’s Independence Day.
The youth coalition met at Arewa House in Kaduna yesterday and declared they will commence implementation of ‘visible actions’ to prove they are no longer part of a federal union that includes the Igbo.
The declaration was signed by various groups which include Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum and Northern Emancipation Network, but it is unclear if known officials of any of the groups actually signed the document.
They cite as reason for their decision the pro-Biafran activities of some Igbo, centred around the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying their latest action and similar confrontational conducts “amount to a brutal encroachment on the rights of those termed as non-indigenous people residing and doing lawful businesses in those areas illegally demarcated and defined as Biafra by the Igbo.”
When SaharaReporters reached out to one of the signatories, Ahmed Yerima, he denied that his coalition was planning violence against Igbos but stated they were responding to IPOB leaders who recently successfully staged a sit-at-home protest in several Southeastern cities. Yerima said his group will soon make a clarification to the public while urging law-abiding citizens to freely exercise their freedom of movement.