Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai has described as, ‘arrant nonsense’ the accusation in some quarters that the alleged movement of Northern youths and Almajirai into the South is in preparation for possible invasion and conquest.
Yakasai, who was reacting to an interview by another elder statesman, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, quipped, “for what will the North attack the South, this is arrant nonsense”
Chief Amaechi, a Second Republic minister, in an interview with Saturday Sun expressed fears over the mass movement of Northern youths and Almajirai to the South. According to him, such is laden with sinister motive in preparation to conquer the South in fulfillment of the vision of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello.
Yakasai said, it was unfortunate that people in the South just believe the rumour as gospel truth without any investigation, stressing, “it doesn’t make any sense if you say, there are Almajirai without knowing from where they are coming from and where they are going to, without knowing who is responsible for sending them to where they are going, and whether it is actually true that they were going from North through South.
“It is just the media that is making fool of us, but people like us , over 90, I’m not happy hearing my mate believing in such story without any investigation. Amaechi is my good friend. I was the only person from the North when he celebrated his 90th birthday in the East.”
According to him, it is impossible to get 50 almajirai in a lorry. “Where are they going to get money to pay for the fare to the place they are going to, if they can get that money why can’t they use it and do business to feed themselves. The statement doesn’t make sense and I condemn it. Unknown to you, especially people in the South, almajiri doesn’t wear shirts; you see 50 people all in shirts and trousers, they are not almajiri.
“With all the police, army, DSS in Nigeria, to get 50 people from a place in the North headed to the South in Auchi, Edo State, and no police stopped them all the way, does it make sense at this time of lockdown. Does it make sense to a 90-year old person like my friend, Amaechi; I’m senior to him by four years. It didn’t make any sense for him to find out where they were coming from and where they were going.
“Just, if you see a vehicle moving now with people, do you know where that vehicle started its journey, and do you know where it is going. Auchi is a place in Edo, why Auchi. How can somebody leave a place in this lockdown; one vehicle cannot move from one place to the other without it stopped by the police to find out where it is coming from and where it is going and why he is going. If he has reason to go they will allow him, but if not, they will turn him back.
“They were many people that were disrupted on single or two vehicles and were forced to go on quarantine, it happened in Kaduna and other places. I read it in the newspapers. Why should a whole Nigeria Police, the military, the DSS allow a lorry with 50 people to move all the way to Auchi, I don’t know where they were from without checking them. Did you see a contingent of police, army, DSS or any security establishment with those pictures posted in the media; did you see security personnel checking them? What were the security operatives doing all the way from their journey to Auchi? To me, it sounds nonsense.”
On Amaechi’s allegation that most of them were not almajirai, but very vibrant young men, Yakasai noted that almajirai are children of nine to 18 years old. “If you are over 18 you graduate into something else. The people I saw in that trailer are between 25 and 30 years old.” Yakasai further emphasized, “this thing doesn’t make sense. For what will the North invade or conquer South? Why should you allow young people to be writing rubbish and misleading them, what is the use of age, maturity? Can any media man publish the names of the youths, where they were coming from and where they were going, their ages, so that everybody can see evidence?
“At 94, I know I can die anytime; I don’t want to die with this stupid story in my mind. It doesn’t make sense. I’m 94 years old, and I have common sense. When a story is told to me, I will ask, why bring up such story and try to investigate, and as veteran journalist, I will try to ask what is the background, the mission, why is it coming up, who sponsored them, were they almajirai or not, and when was the picture taken, what is the evidence that it was taken the day it was published in the social media, what is the evidence.”