By Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has asked the Indiginous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) not to export its sit-at-home order to Northern Nigeria.
It asked governors of the 19 northern states to seal any business premisis in the region that complies with the sit-at-home directive by the Igbo separatist group, adding that the North will not be party to what it called ‘a deliberate, politically-motivated plan to undermine or worsen the nation’s current security challenges.’
AYCF made the call in a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima.
‘We call on Northern Governors to step up action in order to ensure that IPOB does not infilterate the region. We also expect the governors to ensure that any Northerner who shuts down his shop in solidarity with IPOB, that shop should be sealed forever. We will not fold our arms and watch the North get further destabilised by a violent strategy, whether in Kogi, Benue, Plateau, Niger or any State in Northern Nigeria because our hands are already full with challenges of insecurity and we are praying fervently day and night to find lasting peace,’ he said.
Shettima said IPOB is free to continue with their sit-at-home across the South East and cripple the economy of the region if the governors of states in the region allow them, but that such should be restricted to the South East.
‘It seems governors of the South East are satisfied with the activities of IPOB, we hope they will continue with the sit-at-home for another 10 years and we wish them the very best of luck. We know the South East is IPOB’s home but exporting their activities to the North will be faced with massive resistance from all lovers of peace in the North,’ he added.
AYCF said the North will support any democratic means of effecting change and called on the North to shun violence.
‘The North has come a long way in understanding the use of constitutional and democratic means of channelling legitimate grievances, and cannot therefore be party to any undemocratic move. We call on Northerners of good conscience to avoid any undemocratic means, including burning of government-owned structures, where fellow Nigerians legitimately work to feed their families,’ he said.