- Why northern youth leaders have not been arrested
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (retd), has accused the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of violating the bail conditions given him by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Dambazau, who made the allegation during a press conference held in his office in Abuja yesterday, however noted that it is left for the Court to determine what becomes of his action and to what extent he violated the conditions when his trial resumes.
Assuring that police arresting Kanu is totally out of consideration, the Minister said: “the other issue is that Nnamdi Kanu violates bail conditions but it is not time yet for him to go back to the court on trial. We have this assumption but I think it is left for the court that gave those conditions to determine whether those conditions were violated or not.
“If those conditions were violated, the court knows what to do. We cannot assume that those conditions are being violated. Yes, the public knows those conditions given but the determination of the extent of violation will be left for the court.
“It is not like the police will go after Kanu to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the bail conditions. Kanu will have a day in court and the court will determine his fate because it is the court that gave those conditions.” He equally spoke on why the Federal Government and the law enforcement agencies have not arrested leaders of the Coalition of Northern Youth Groups behind the quit order given to Igbo in the northern part of the country, explaining that they have been invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) for questioning.
According to him; “the group that called themselves coalition of Arewa Associations that held a press conference in Kaduna where they gave October 1 ultimatum to the Igbo to quit the north as a response to what they termed as issue of separatist agenda of IPOB and claim that there are lots of excitements from the Igbo against northerners, of course, they later claimed that the media quoted them out of context. I am very much aware that the DSS invited all of them, held a meeting with them to which they made a statement to the effect that what was reported in the media was not what they said.
“They further wrote to the Acting President indicating that they did not make inciting statement as to the issue of violence or forceful ejection of the Igbo in the north. However, it was on the basis of that the northern elders called them to also reaffirm from them that what was reported is not exactly what they meant.
“Secondly, it is something that the Kaduna State government is handling since that is where it happened. I want to think that it was on that basis that the arrest was not made. Again, there has been several efforts to dialogue between the northern youths and the Igbo youths. Several of such meetings have been held including the reported one a week ago but my understanding is that these various groups are trying to reach an understanding.
“More importantly, government has given assurance when the Acting President met with leadership from various parts of the country that nothing is going to happen to any person. Government has assured that everybody should stay and continue normal businesses.”