By Chinelo Obogo
Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said that it has decided not to respond to the abuses usually hurled at it by Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo over issues bordering on insecurity and restructuring.
Speaking at the first annual GYB seminar for journalists held in Abuja on yesterday, the Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Emmanuel Yawe, who spoke on the topic, “Taming insecurity across Nigeria: Special focus on the North”, said that Boko Haram does not uphold the teachings of Islam, adding that they and the bandits are not supported by the North.
His words: “Boko Haram means western education is evil and the question we ask is, if they want to take the rest of us back? Boko Haram are not upholding the teachings of Islam. I am not a Muslim, but I have spoken to many Islamic scholars and they have told me that they don’t represent Islam. We also have Christians who are fanatics and are using Christianity for personal gains and are trying to destroy the unity of this country. We need to be careful about such Christians because it’s not only Muslims that do that.
“There are people who see everything within the short and limited lens of religion. We in the ACF see it differently, we advocate tolerance. When the Afenifere started abusing us, we stopped responding to them. We tell them that they only take care of their Oduduwa people, but we take care of all northerners, including the Oduduwa.
“Audu Ogbe has told us that ACF should stop exchanging words with Afenifere, so, if you watch, we don’t respond to them again. If Afenifere and Ohanaeze like, let them abuse us, we don’t respond. However, we recently invited them and thank God that they have accepted as we are going to hold a meeting with them because the crises in the country is getting too hot.”
Also speaking on the clamour for federalism, Yawe said that before independence when the country was operating under a federal system, the North was in support of that system of governance, but that it was the late military head of state from the South, Aguiyi Ironsi, who declared that Nigeria will operate a unitary system.